Lawsuit: Velveeta Shells & Cheese not ready in 3½ minutes as advertised
A South Florida woman is suing the Kraft Heinz Foods Co., claiming she wouldn’t have purchased its Velveeta Shells & Cheese microwaveable cups had she known they take longer than 3½ minutes to prepare as the box indicates.
The lawsuit, which is seeking class action certification, was filed earlier this month in federal court in Miami.
According to the lawsuit, Kraft advertises the microwavable single serve cups of macaroni and cheese as being "ready in 3½ minutes," which is "false and misleading" because it takes longer than that "to prepare for consumption."
The lawsuit claims Hialeah resident Amanda Ramirez purchased the product believing that it would take 3½ minutes total.
However, the directions on the back of the box show that 3½ minutes "is just the length of time to complete one of several steps."
The lawsuit alleges that the label doesn't state it takes "3½ minutes to cook in the microwave," which would have been true.
West Palm Beach-based attorney Will Wright, who filed the lawsuit on his client's behalf, claims it is deceptive advertising meant to mislead the consumer into paying more for the product.
"I've gotten a lot of flak about this case, but deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising," Wright told WPTV.com in an email. "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."
The lawsuit claims the $10.99 retail price is more expensive than similar products that are "represented in a non-misleading way."
Wright called it deceptive advertising, "plain and simple."
"There are a lot of people that may feel this is just a little fibbing and not really a case and I get that," he said. "But we are striving for something better. We want corporate America to be straightforward and truthful in advertising their products. My firm also represents clients in what most would say are more compelling cases (arsenic in baby food, etc.) but we don't feel corporations should get a pass for any deceptive advertising. The consumers deserve better."
Kraft did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the lawsuit.
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