Rap Snacks, the popular potato chip brand that features the faces of rappers like Cardi B, Migos, and Fabolous, has secured another bag. Last month, the company announced that it is expanding from local delis and convenience stores into 4,200 Walmart stores around the country. In addition, it is partnering with Slutty Vegan to launch two new vegan chips later this year.
Known as “The Official Snack of Hip Hop,” CEO James Lindsay founded Rap Snacks Inc. in 1994 and began packaging the chips with a cartoon image of rap stars in 2003 after signing a deal with Universal Music Group. Each rapper is also given their own distinct chip flavor. Now, more than two decades later, Rap Snacks are being distributed via the highest-grossing company in the world.
“I am extremely excited to work with Walmart. If you think about the overall Walmart consumer options, as it related to food, Rap Snacks and Patty Pies are really the only African American branded products in Walmart,” he told BLACK ENTERPRISE in an email. “I am also excited to expand the overall brand, potentially opening up doors for other consumer product companies owned by African Americans to follow the same path.”
Lindsay says he landed the deal with Walmart about two months ago after a buyer at the retail giant reached out to his team. “She said that she had been seeing the brand and had actually reached out to my team on LinkedIn, wanting to put us in stores.”
The History of Rap Snacks
Lindsay launched the company after raising $40,000 with the help of family and friends, according to RapSnacks.net. He knew the chips would be a hit after he sold 800 cases of the product in his first meeting with a distributor. Eventually, Rap Snacks grew into a 7-figure business but temporarily stopped its production from 2010 to 2015 due to the smaller size of the bags, which wasn’t as profitable for its producers. During that five-year stint, Lindsay worked as a brand manager for rapper Meek Mill, which provided him with deeper insight into the power of the artist. The brand then revamped and relaunched in 2016 with larger bags and selling for a higher price.
The Future of Rap Snacks
Last month, Rap Snacks announced two new vegan chip flavors in partnership with Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-based vegan burger restaurant. The new flavors will launch in December in over 100,000 stores across the country. Lindsay says the collaboration will help spread awareness about healthier food choices to underserved communities that may experience less access to vegan options otherwise.
“I am truly excited to partner with Slutty Vegan to bring our first-ever Rap Snacks vegan chip option to our customers,” he said in a press release. “Slutty Vegan has been immensely influential in introducing veganism to the culturally rich community of Atlanta and beyond. It’s always exciting to join forces with a brand that shares the same underlying mission as we do here at Rap Snacks—to push culture forward through food.”
Pinky Cole, who founded Slutty Vegan in 2018, says partnering with Rap Snacks has given her the opportunity to educate and empower disenfranchised communities. “It is especially important to me that this partnership allows Slutty Vegan the opportunity to introduce healthy vegan options to urban and underserved communities throughout the country,” she said. “Slutty Vegan and Rap Snacks complement each other perfectly, when someone walks into a Slutty Vegan restaurant they are greeted with hip-hop on the stereo and amazing food, and we can’t wait to expand our vegan movement nationwide with our new Rap Snacks line.”
Lindsay says his next goal is to make Rap Snacks into an international brand and continue to inspire people of color to become entrepreneurs. “My goal for Rap Snacks is to make it one of the biggest brands in the world. Hip-hop is one of the biggest streaming genres in the world today and our potential in that space cannot be limited. I want our community to believe that you can create momentum and brand recognition outside of just the music and expand globally.”