Florida woman Amanda Ramirez is suing Kraft Heinz Foods Company after her cup of microwavable macaroni and cheese took longer than 3.5 minutes to be fully ready for consumption.
Wait, are you serious?
In a class-action lawsuit filed on Nov. 18 in the U.S. District Court in Miami, Ramirez accuses Kraft Heinz of false advertising because her 2.39 ounce cup of Velveeta Shells & Cheese was not “ready in 3½ minutes” as its packaging claimed it would be, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
The crux of the complaint is that customers are falsely led to believe the product will be ready for consumption 3.5 minutes after the package is opened.
Preparation, however, requires removing the lid, adding water, and stirring in the cheese pouch — on top of the 3.5 minute cook time.
“Consumers seeing ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ will believe it represents the total amount of time it takes to prepare the Product, meaning from the moment it is unopened to the moment it is ready for consumption,” the lawsuit states
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The lawsuit goes onto claim Kraft Heinz “sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers.”
“As a result of the false and misleading representations, the Product is sold at a premium price, approximately no less than $10.99 for eight 2.39 oz cups, excluding tax and sales, higher than similar products, represented in a non-misleading way, and higher than it would be sold for absent the misleading representations and omissions,” the lawsuit adds.
The lawsuit further claims that Ramirez would not have purchased the product “had she known the truth” about its preparation time.
But she will purchase it in the future when “its representations are consistent with its abilities, attributes, and/or composition.”
The lawsuit accuses Kraft Heinz of violating multiple federal and Florida statues. It seeks to build a class of consumers in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, Iowa, Tennessee, and Virginia who have purchased the Velveeta product.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and at least $5 million damages, “including statutory and punitive damages, exclusive of interest and costs.”
What did Kraft Heinz say?
The company denounced the “frivolous lawsuit” and said it “will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint,” the Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, one of the lawyers serving Ramirez defended taking on the case.
“I’ve gotten a lot of flak about this case, but deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising,” Wright admitted to the Post. “Here, Kraft charges extra for a desirable feature (saving time) but the marketing is false, it takes far longer for the product to be ready than as advertised. Deceptive advertising plain and simple.”