South Florida

Florida Woman Sues Kraft Over ‘False and Misleading' Velveeta Prep Time

The class action complaint was filed earlier this month against Kraft Heinz Foods Company in the Southern District of Florida Miami Division on behalf of Amanda Ramirez, of Hialeah

NBC Universal, Inc.

A South Florida woman is suing the Kraft Heinz Food Company over the time it takes to make its Velveeta microwavable mac and cheese, saying the box's claims of "ready in 3-and-a-half minutes" doesn't accurately portray how long it takes to prepare the meal.

The class-action complaint was filed earlier this month in the Southern District of Florida Miami Division on behalf of Amanda Ramirez, of Hialeah. The suit alleges that the Pittsburgh-based company sells more of the product, and at a higher price, by misleading consumer's about the Velveeta Shells & Cheese prep time.

According to the suit, Ramirez purchased the microwavable pasta at a "premium" of $10.99 for eight 2.39 oz cups at Publix, which was higher than similar products. The suit says Ramirez chose Velveeta over other similar products because of the prep time prominently promised on its label and "would not have purchased it or paid less had she known the truth."

Ramirez found the statement on the box that it would be ready in 3½ minutes "false and misleading" because in the directions, only one of several steps takes that amount of time, according to the suit.

"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 suit reads. "However, the directions outlined above show that 3-and-a-half minutes is just the length of time to complete one of several steps."

The lawsuit seeks more than $5 million in damages and class-action status covering consumers in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, Iowa, Tennessee and Virginia.

In a statement, Ramirez's attorney, Will Wright, who filed the lawsuit, said corporations shouldn't get a pass for "deceptive advertising."

"I’ve gotten a lot of flak about this case, but deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising. 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 adverting plain and simple," his statement read. "There are a lot of people that may feel this is just a little fibbing and not really a case and I get that. But we are striving for something better. We want corporate America to be straightforward and truthful in advertising their products."

Kraft did not immediately respond to NBC 6's request for comment, but in a statement to CNN, the company called the lawsuit "frivolous" and vowed to defend itself again the allegations in the complaint.

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