A woman is suing over how much time it took her to make Velveeta macaroni and cheese after the packaging claimed it would only take a matter of minutes.
On behalf of herself and others, Amanda Ramirez is suing Kraft Heinz Foods Company for $5 million over its mac-and-cheese product promises. The food item’s packaging claims that the macaroni and cheese will be ready in three-and-a-half minutes, but Ramirez alleged that it takes more time to make the product when other steps are taken into consideration.
“The statement of ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ is false and misleading because the Product takes longer than 3-and-a-half minutes to prepare for consumption,” the lawsuit stated. It went on to describe the process of making the food and the directions involved.
“Consumers seeing ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ will believe it represents the total amount of time it takes to prepare the Product, meaning from the moment it is unopened to the moment it is ready for consumption,” it stated.
The lawsuit also alleged that the macaroni product is able to be marketed at a higher cost because of its claims about how soon the food can be ready to eat.
In a statement to The Washington Post, the Kraft Heinz Co. said that they knew about the “frivolous lawsuit” and “will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint.”
William Wright of the Wright Law Office in West Palm Beach, and Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates in Great Neck, New York, reportedly filed the lawsuit this month.
“I’ve gotten a lot of flak about this case, but deceptive advertising is deceptive advertising,” Wright told the Post on Monday over 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. 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. But we are striving for something better,” Wright said in the email. “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.”
The lawsuit taps into the efforts of many Americans to make their money go further in the current economic environment of sky-high inflation. The filing claims that Ramirez “is like many consumers who seek to stretch their money as far as possible when buying groceries” and “looks to bold statements of value when quickly selecting groceries.”