Florida woman sues Kraft Heinz for $5M, says mac and cheese preparation is misleading

HIALEAH, Fla. (WFLA) —A Florida woman is suing the Kraft Heinz Food Company for $5 million, claiming they misled the public about the time it takes to prepare Velveeta microwavable mac and cheese cups.

Amanda Ramirez is listed as the main plaintiff for the class-action suit, which alleges Kraft Heinz violated federal law by saying Velveeta Shells & Cheese cups take 3½ minutes to prepare.

“Ready in 3½ minutes” is printed on the box, which is the amount of time the product takes to cook in a microwave. However, the suit says it takes more time to complete the other required steps, as reported by NBC affiliate WFLA. 

This is how the lawsuit describes the cooking process:

  • “First, consumers must ‘REMOVE lid and Cheese Sauce Pouch.’
  • Next, they must ‘ADD water to fill line in cup. STIR.’
  • Third, ‘MICROWAVE, uncovered, on HIGH 3-1/2 min. DO NOT DRAIN.’
  • Finally, they should ‘STIR IN contents of cheese sauce pouch.’
  • Defendant then notes that ‘CHEESE SAUCE WILL THICKEN UPON STANDING’.”

“Consumers seeing ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ will believe it represents the total amount of time it takes to prepare the product,” the suit states. “Meaning from the moment it is unopened to the moment it is ready for consumption.”

Ramirez bought the product for a “premium price” of $10.99 “between October and November 2022, among other times,” the lawsuit claims, according to WFLA. However, it did not say how long it actually took Ramirez to prepare the mac and cheese.

The suit described Ramirez as someone who “looks to bold statements of value when quickly selecting groceries” and “like many consumers who seek to stretch their money as far as possible when buying groceries.”

The plaintiffs are seeking at least $5 million in damages, “including statutory and punitive exclusive of interest and costs.”

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