Snoop Dogg and Mr. B allege Walmart and Post Foods hid their cereal in a sabotage plot.
Rapper Snoop Dogg and Master P have filed a lawsuit against Post Foods and Walmart, accusing the companies of intentionally leaving the musicians’ cereals off store shelves and hiding them in storage warehouses to sabotage the product.
Calvin Broadus, known as Snoop Dogg, and Percy Miller, known as Master P, rejected an offer from Post Foods to purchase the entire cereal, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dakota County, Minnesota. After eventually entering into an agreement in 2022, Post did not treat Snoop Cereal “on an equal footing with its own brand,” even though the product sold well when it was placed on store shelves, the lawsuit states.
The rapper started Broadus Foods in 2022 with hopes of “inspiring and creating opportunities” for minority-owned food products, according to the lawsuit. One big product within Broadus Foods is Snoop Cereal, which is sold in flavors including “Fruity Hoops with Marshmallow,” “Frosted Drizzlers” and “Cinnamon Toasteez.”
Snoop Dogg and Master P approached Post Consumer Brands, called “breakfast energy” in the lawsuit, looking for a partnership. They sought out Snoop’s pills at stores where Boost pills were sold, the lawsuit said.
After beginning talks with the Post, the company initially offered to buy out Snoop Cereal outright, an offer that Snoop Dogg and Master P rejected because it conflicted with their company’s goal of promoting minority-owned businesses, according to the lawsuit. Approving the sale of the brand would also prevent artists from leaving the company to their families as a legacy business, the suit said.
On December 13, 2022, Broadus Foods signed a contract with Post to assume all aspects of Snoop Cereal’s production, including manufacturing, packaging, retail, sales, distribution and transportation, the lawsuit said.
As part of the agreement, Broadus Foods and Post would split profits, and Post agreed to “treat Snoop Cereal as one of its own brands that produces cereal and distributes it to major retailers including Walmart, Target, Kroger and Amazon,” the lawsuit said. “.
“Because the largest seller of Post products is Walmart, Snoop Cereal should have been placed on Walmart shelves next to dozens of other Post-branded cereals,” the lawsuit continued. “Unbeknownst to Broadus Foods, Post was not on board with their goals and dreams and had no intention of treating Snoop Cereal equally as their own brand.”
“Essentially, because Snoop Dogg and Master P refused to sell Snoop Cereal outright, Post entered into a sham arrangement whereby it could strangle Broadus Foods out of the market, thus preventing Snoop Cereal from being sold or produced by any competitor,” the lawsuit said. .
According to the lawsuit, when they were put on shelves, Snoop’s cereal was popular and sold well. However, the products were quickly pulled from shelves, leaving shoppers wondering where to find them, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, product placement on the shelf is key to selling cereal, and Post and Walmart knew it.
“Walmart and Post agree on the exact aisle, shelf, and position in which each box will be placed on that store floor,” according to the lawsuit. “This joint venture results in each store being told exactly where each cereal brand will be placed.” “to the nearest millimeter.”
The lawsuit gave several examples of frustrated consumers coming into Snoop Cereal stores, asking how to find it, and being told there isn’t any in the store, only for boxes of cereal to appear in the cereal stores.
In one example cited in the lawsuit, 200 boxes of Snoop cereal that had been sitting at a Walmart in New Berlin, Wisconsin, for months were not placed in the cereal aisle.
“In November and December 2023, Walmart stores continually showed that they did not have Snoop Cereal in stock and showed online that it could not be purchased,” the lawsuit states. “Walmart store managers told customers they didn’t have any Snoop cereal in their store.”
The lawsuit states that Walmart is responsible for marking up each box as to where it will be placed on shelves. Walmart can also mark up the cereal by marking the boxes as “no location,” meaning they will remain in stock. After sitting in storage for months, the boxes are thrown away or sold at deep discounts, the lawsuit alleges.
Some of the claims in the lawsuit include breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, collusion and conspiracy.
Post Consumer Brands did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment Wednesday afternoon.
However, in a statement to NBC Los Angeles, the company said it “was excited to partner with Broadus Foods and have made significant investments in the business. We were also disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations.”
Walmart said in its own statement that it values its relationships with suppliers and that “many factors,” including consumer demand and seasonality, affect sales of any given product. “We will respond appropriately to the court once we receive the complaint,” the company said.
At a news conference Tuesday to announce the lawsuit, Master P said the lawsuit is “about minority-owned businesses getting a fair share.”
“We’re not building this brand to sell,” Snoop Dogg said.
The rapper is represented by prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump. They are seeking a jury trial, and damages exceeding $50,000, covering the cost of the lawsuit, attorney’s fees, and “additional relief as determined by the court.”