Suit Seeks $5M Damages Over Mac-and-Cheese Prep Time

Suit accuses Kraft Heinz of misleading advertising over 3.5-minute prep time
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2022 3:19 PM CST
Suit Seeks $5M Damages Over Mac-and-Cheese Prep Time
Velveeta cheese product displayed on a grocery store shelf in Palo Alto, California.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

According to the packaging, it takes just 3.5 minutes to prepare Velveeta Shells & Cheese. According to Amanda Ramirez, that’s not true when one accounts for the time it takes to remove the lid, add water, and stir in the cheese sauce (not to mention waiting for that sauce to thicken). Per NPR, the Florida woman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Kraft Heinz to the tune of $5 million on behalf of consumers in 10 states. According to the suit, the multinational food giant relies on "false and misleading representations" to charge a "premium price … higher than it would be sold for absent the misleading representations and omissions."

In a statement to USA Today, Kraft said it is "aware of this frivolous lawsuit and will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint." But according to NPR, Ramirez’s lawyers contend that it’s important to hold corporations to account. "Deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising," said one lawyer, adding that his firm also "also represents clients in what most would say are more compelling cases … but we don't feel corporations should get a pass for any deceptive advertising." Per the Daily Mail, Ramirez’s suit claims that she would not have purchased the Velveeta product if she had known the truth about its prep time.

NPR also notes the presence of Spencer Sheehan on Ramirez’s legal team. Sheehan specializes in suits over misleading advertising and packaging, and he files approximately three per week, a rate that has "almost single-handedly caused a historic spike in the number of class action lawsuits against food and beverage companies—up more than 1000% since 2008." Many of his lawsuits are settled before they reach court. Sheehan was involved in another recent lawsuit accusing Kellogg’s of misleading advertising in its strawberry Pop-Tarts, which also contain apples and pears. That suit was dismissed by a federal judge on April 1, per Reuters. (More frivolous lawsuits stories.)

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