Rap stars Snoop Dogg and Master P sued Walmart Inc. and Post Foods LLC, claiming the consumer giants conspired to crush their Snoop Cereal, intended as a model for other minority-owned brands.
The musicians’ company Broadus Foods LLC accuses the world’s largest retailer of hiding boxes of its cereal — Fruity Hoopz With Marshmallows, Frosted Drizzlers and Cinnamon Toasteez — in its stockrooms to keep them off the shelves at Post’s instruction.
In a suit filed this week in Minnesota state court by a legal team including the civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Broadus Foods says the rap artists had “a vision to create a family-owned company that would add diversity to the food industry while inspiring and creating opportunities for minority-owned food products and brands.” It claims Walmart and Post’s “diabolical” plot sank their profits and hopes just as their company was starting to take off.
“If Post and Walmart are able to do this to popular businessmen such as Snoop Dogg and Master P, then they definitely will do it to the mom-and-pop and minority-owned companies who do not have the ability to defend themselves,” Broadus warned in its complaint, which is studded with photos its says demonstrate the alleged collusion.
The suit follows others filed in recent years by prominent hip-hop artists including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Jay-Z against big consumer products companies over soured joint ventures, and highlights the pros and cons of such high-profile team-ups. In January Diddy dropped claims against Diageo North America Inc. that the spirits company had exhibited racism in neglecting his liquor brands. Last February Jay-Z and a Bacardi Ltd. affiliate resolved a battle over a cognac joint venture after months of arbitration and litigation.
Walmart said in a statement that it values its relationships with suppliers and that many factors affect a product’s sales, including price and consumer demand. Post said it made “substantial investments” in Broadus and was excited to partner with it.
“We were equally disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations,” Post said in a statement.
Lawyers for the two companies couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, which seeks a jury trial and monetary damages, Post wanted to buy Snoop Cereal outright. Broadus refused, saying that would be contrary to its vision, and Post agreed instead to handle the production and distribution of Snoop Cereal in return for half the profits. The startup is named for Calvin Broadus Jr., Snoop Dogg’s real name.
Broadus says it expected its products to be placed on the same shelves as those of Post, a valued supplier among Walmart’s cereal offerings. But after a few months, it claims, Walmart customers couldn’t find Snoop Cereal, only to discover that it was being stored in the stockroom.
“Essentially, because Snoop Dogg and Master refused to sell Snoop Cereal in totality, Post entered a false arrangement where they could choke Broadus Foods out of the market, thereby preventing Snoop Cereal from being sold or produced by any competitor,” Broadus alleges.
Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
The case is Broadus Foods LLC v. Post, 19HA-CV-24-526, Minnesota District Court, 1st Judicial District (Dakota County).
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