HIALEAH, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida woman is suing Kraft Heinz Food Company for $5 million, claiming they misled the public about the time it takes to prepare Velveeta microwave mac and cheese cups.
Court records show that a West Palm Beach-based law firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Hialeah woman in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Nov. 18.
Amanda Ramirez is listed as the lead plaintiff for the class action, which claims Kraft Heinz violated federal law by saying Velveeta Shells & Cheese cups take 3½ minutes to prepare.
“Ready in 3½ minutes”[ads1]; is printed on the box, which is how long the product takes to cook in the microwave. However, the suit says it takes more time to complete the other necessary steps.
This is how the lawsuit describes the cooking process:
- “First, consumers must ‘REMOVE the lid and cheese sauce bag.’
- Then they have to ‘ADD water to fill line in cup. STIR.’
- Third, ‘MICROWAVE, uncovered, on HIGH 3-1/2 min. DON’T LOSE.’
- Finally, they should “Stir in the contents of the cheese sauce bag.”
- The defendant then remarks that ‘CHEESE SAUCE WILL THICKEN ON STANDING’.
“Consumers who see ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ will believe that it represents the total time it takes to prepare the product,” the suit says. “That means from the moment it is unopened to the moment it is ready for consumption.”
The lawsuit alleges that Ramirez purchased the product for a “premium price” of $10.99 “between October and November 2022, among other times.” 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 for bold statements of value when making quick grocery choices,” and “like many consumers who try 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 damages exclusive of interest and costs.”
News Channel 8 has contacted the Kraft Heinz Food Company for comment on the lawsuit.