Kraft's Velveeta cheese products might be incredibly popular, but that doesn't make them above the law. At least, for a plaintiff in Florida, the brand needs to be brought to justice for its misleading practices. Just last November, the woman decided that Velveeta was advertising that one of its popular products took more time to prepare than the packaging claimed.
Woman Sues Kraft For $5 Million Over Misleading Velveeta Preparation Times
On November 18, 2022, The Woman Brought Her Lawsuit Forward.
Florida resident Amanda Ramirez sued Kraft Heinz over the Velveeta Shells & Cheese pasta product. The packaging claims that the microwavable product is ready in 3-and-a-half minutes.
However, Ramirez Claims That It Takes Longer Than That.
According to Ramirez, the product takes longer than the 3-and-a-half minutes suggested to prepare, which would constitute as fraud. The lawsuit states, as NBC reports, "To provide consumers with a Product that is actually ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ the Product would need to be cooked in the microwave for less than 3-and-a-half minutes, so that all the preparation steps could be completed in the 3-and-a-half minutes timeframe."
There Are Multiple Steps In The Package Instructions, Including Some That Come After The Microwave Time.
The lawsuit mentions the instructions, which include removing the lid of the product, adding water, microwaving it, stirring the contents, and then adding the powdered cheese sauce.
It Takes Time After The Sauce Is Added For The Final Product To Be Ready.
Ramirez feels that, because the package states that it takes time for the cheese sauce to thicken, the Shells & Cheese product actually takes longer than the 3-and-a-half minutes it claims on the packaging.
The Final Instruction On The Packaging Is The Focus Of The Suit.
"Consumers seeing ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ will believe it represents the total amount of time it takes to prepare the Product," the lawsuit continues. "However, the directions outlined above show that 3-and-a-half minutes is just the length of time to complete one of several steps."
Kraft Heinz, Meanwhile, Has Released A Statement Regarding The Lawsuit.
"We are aware of this frivolous lawsuit and will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint," the company said.
Ramirez Also Uses The Product's Price In Her Argument.
The lawsuit points out that the Shells & Cheese product costs $10.99 for eight 2.39 oz cups before taxes, which is "higher than similar products represented in a non-misleading way."
The Lawsuit Is Currently Filed Solely By Ramirez.
However, the suit claims that it could develop into a class action lawsuit in the future. She is seeking at least $5 million in damages.
A West Palm Beach-Based Law Firm Filed The Suit In Collaboration With Sheehan And Associates
Sheehan and Associates is led by Robert Sheehan, a New York-based lawyer who has filed similar suits on behalf of plaintiffs in the past. Over the years, Sheehan has sued other food companies such as Betty Crocker and Kellogg's over ingredients in their products.