The Kraft Heinz Foods Co. is being sued for $5 million for the “false and misleading” claim that its microwavable Velveeta Shells & Cheese is “ready in 3½ minutes” as it states on its packaging, according to court records.
The primary complaint of plaintiff Amanda Ramirez’s class-action lawsuit is that the “3½ minutes” claim only accounts for the macaroni and cheese’s time in the microwave — not the total time it takes to prepare the food.
“The label does not state the Product takes ‘3½ minutes to cook in the microwave,’ which would have been true,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Nov. 18.
Before the product can be microwaved, the lawsuit says consumers must remove the cup’s lid and its cheese sauce pouch, as well as add water to the cup’s fill line and stir the water into the shells.
After heating up the product for 3½ minutes, consumers must then stir in the cheese sauce and wait for the sauce to thicken.
Kraft Heinz said in a Sunday statement: “We are aware of this frivolous lawsuit and will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint.”
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Ms. Ramirez, a Florida resident, said this misleading claim allows the company to profit from Velveeta Shells & Cheese’s “premium price” of $10.99 for an eight-pack of microwavable cups.
She also said that her lawsuit represents people who purchased the Velveeta product in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, Iowa, Tennessee and Virginia.
Spencer Sheehan, one of the lawyers representing Ms. Ramirez, “has filed more than 400 lawsuits targeting products in almost every aisle of the grocery store,” according to NPR.