Rappers Snoop Dogg and Master P may have already made their mark in hip hop, but their real dream was to make cereal. Yes, cereal.
Or at least that’s what the two performers (who are worth $160 million and $200 million, respectively) say in a new lawsuit against Walmart and Post Consumer Brands. The music moguls allege they started their company Broadus Foods in 2022 “to be a legacy for Snoop Dogg and Master P’s family they could leave to help them create a brighter future.”
It’s true that Broadus Foods marked a milestone for the Black business world. It was the first Black-owned cereal brand in the US, “an African-American brand for the American people,” as Master P put it to Yahoo Finance Live last year.
But Post and Walmart tried to ruin that, the entertainers allege. They approached Post — which owns Honey Bunches of Oats, Raisin Bran, and other cereal staples — to get their brand Snoop Cereal on the shelves of big box retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Target in 2022. Together they rolled out Snoop Cereal flavors Fruity Hoopz, Cinnamon Toasteez, and Frosted Drizzlerz the following summer.
But the flavors never made it to the mouths of many a cereal and Snoop Dogg lover. That’s because Post “essentially worked with Walmart to ensure that none of the boxes of Snoop Cereal would ever appear on the store shelves” in an attempt to “choke” them out of the market, the artists wrote. Instead, the boxes sat in stockrooms “for months and months,” “despite customers seeking the cereal.”
Snoop Dogg and Master P sued Walmart and Post for $50,000 in a Minnesota district court Tuesday (Feb. 6), calling the companies’ alleged actions “diabolical.” But with Post’s market cap of $6 billion and Walmart’s $457 billion, the suit is more symbolic than financially substantive.
Post did not immediately respond to Quartz’s request for comment. Post told NBC Los Angeles that it “was excited to partner with Broadus Foods and we made substantial investments in the business. We were equally disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations.” Despite the suit, Post Consumer Brands is doing just fine: its parent company’s stock price is up about 2% to $105.72 since the complaint was filed.
A Walmart spokesperson told Quartz that the company “values our relationships with our suppliers” and has “a strong history of supporting entrepreneurs.” They said “[m]any factors affect the sales of any given product, including consumer demand, seasonality, and price, to name a few.”