A Florida Woman Is Suing Kraft Mac & Cheese For Taking Too Long To Make

A South Florida woman named Amanda Ramirez has sued the Kraft Heinz Company for a laundry list of alleged wrongdoings — "deceptive and unfair trade practices," "false and misleading advertising," "violation of state consumer fraud acts," "negligent misrepresentation," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," and "breach of express warranty," to be exact, according to a class action lawsuit filed on November 18. The motivation behind the lawsuit is that Ramirez felt deceived by the wording on the packaging of Velveeta's microwavable shells and cheese cups, which reads, "ready in 3 ½ minutes." However, the plaintiff argues, the mac and cheese takes longer to fully prepare than advertised.

According to The Washington Post, there are four steps listed on the back of the Kraft product, and Ramirez argues that 3 ½ minutes does not take into account the time it takes to remove the lid and sauce pouch from the cup, add water, place the contents in the microwave, wait the 3 ½ minute cook time, stir the shells and cheese together, and let the cup stand so the sauce thickens. Had the label specified that the dish takes "3 ½ minutes to cook in the microwave," the plaintiff says there wouldn't be a problem.

The lawsuit accuses the Kraft Heinz Company of deceptive advertising

According to the class action lawsuit, the Kraft Velveeta microwavable macaroni and cheese cups are able to be sold for a "premium price" of $10.99 for eight cups because of their claim to be a convenient food product that's ready to eat in 3 ½ minutes. The lawsuit says this misleading advertising is especially problematic today, when many consumers "seek to stretch their money as far as possible when buying groceries." Ramirez was willing to pay a little extra for the speedy preparation at first, but when she realized she wasn't saving as much time as she thought, she decided she would not be purchasing the shells and cheese again until the packaging reflects the reality.

To rectify the situation, the lawsuit is seeking upwards of $5 million for "statutory and punitive damages" and includes other consumers from 10 other states who also purchased the Kraft mac and cheese cups during the statutes of limitations period, per NPR. While one Washington Post reader called the lawsuit "trivial," Ramirez's lawyers told NPR that it's shedding light on a broader issue of deceptive advertising that's far too common and breaking consumers' trust in certain food producers. As for the defendant, the Kraft Heinz Company knows about the lawsuit, which it calls "frivolous," and "will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint."