Florida woman, Amanda Ramirez, sues after claiming Velveeta cup takes longer than the 3 1/2 minute 'ready time' it says on the box and she’s asking for $5M KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Monday, November 28, 2022

Florida woman, Amanda Ramirez, sues after claiming Velveeta cup takes longer than the 3 1/2 minute 'ready time' it says on the box and she’s asking for $5M

Florida woman sues after claiming Velveeta cup takes longer than the 3 1/2 minute 'ready time' it says on the box. She’s asking for $5M. (Read More Here).

A Florida woman has filed a class action lawsuit against Kraft Heinz Foods Company, alleging its Velveeta Shells & Cheese takes longer than advertised to prepare. 

Amanda Ramirez of Hialeah, Florida is listed as the plaintiff of the $5 million suit filed on Nov. 18 in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida. The suit alleges that Velveeta Shells & Cheese assertion that the product is “ready in 3 1/2 minutes” is "false and misleading," according to court documents.

In addition to the $5 million in damages, the plaintiffs are also seeking statutory and/or punitive damages from Kraft Heinz Foods Company.

"We are aware of this frivolous lawsuit and will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint," the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. The box for the shells list four simple steps, from removing the lid and cheese sauce pouch, adding water, microwaving, then stirring.

While the step of microwaving the product says to microwave the product for 3 1/2 minutes, the suit alleges the time listed could be interpreted as the total amount of time to make it, including the mixing of water and cheese sauce.

The suit also alleges the product is sold for the "premium price" of $10.99 for eight cups and is a result of false and misleading representations. Ramirez is also described as someone who seeks to "stretch their money as far as possible" when buying groceries and "looks to bold statements of value when quickly selecting groceries." Ramirez said they would not have bought the product or paid less if the total time was listed.

While the company markets its Velveeta Shells & Cheese as being "ready in 3 1/2" minutes, Amanda Ramirez says that's only the amount of time each cup needs to be microwaved — and that the actual preparation process, from stirring in water to letting the cheese sauce thicken, takes longer (she does not specify how much).

A 15-page class-action lawsuit filed earlier this month alleges that parent company Kraft Heinz sells more of the product, and at a higher price, than it would if it didn't mislead consumers about the pasta's prep time.

"As a result of the false and misleading representations, the Product is sold at a premium price, approximately no less than $10.99 for eight 2.39 oz cups, excluding tax and sales, higher than similar products, represented in a non-misleading way, and higher than it would be sold for absent the misleading representations and omissions," the court filing reads.

Ramirez's legal team says that she is like many consumers who "seek to stretch their money as far as possible when buying groceries," and chose Velveeta over other similar products because of the prep time prominently promised on its label. She wouldn't have bought it "had she known the truth," they say.

The lawsuit seeks more than $5 million in damages and looks to cover consumers in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, Iowa, Tennessee and Virginia who purchased the mac and cheese cups during the applicable statute of limitations period. It says there are more than 100 such customers since the product is sold online and in stores across the country.

The Kraft Heinz Company called the lawsuit "frivolous" in a statement provided to NPR, saying it "will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint."

While some might be quick to dismiss the case as cheesy, Ramirez's team says it's important to hold corporations accountable in all forms. Will Wright, one of Ramirez's lawyers, told NPR over email that while he's gotten some flak about the case, "deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising."

"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 wrote. "But we are striving for something better. We want corporate America to be straightforward and truthful in advertising their products."

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