By Michael Caruso
I rarely write about pending cases, but this case caught my attention as a former line cook and current lawyer.
1. Kraft sells microwavable single-serve cups of mac and cheese represented as "READY IN 3½ MINUTES" under the Velveeta brand.
2. The statement "ready in 3½ minutes" is false and misleading because the mac and cheese takes longer than 3-and-a-half minutes to prepare for consumption.
3. There are four steps in preparing the mac and cheese:
a. Consumers must "REMOVE lid and Cheese Sauce Pouch;
b. Next, they must "ADD water to fill the line in the cup. STIR.";
c. Third, "MICROWAVE, uncovered, on HIGH 3-1/2 min. DO NOT DRAIN.";
d. Finally, they should "STIR IN contents of cheese sauce pouch."
4. Kraft notes that the "CHEESE SAUCE WILL THICKEN UPON STANDING."
Here's the crux of the suit: "Consumers seeing 'ready in 3½ minutes' will believe it represents the total amount of time it takes to prepare the [mac and cheese], meaning from the moment it is unopened to the moment it is ready for consumption.
However, the directions outlined above show that 3-and-a-half minutes is just the length of time to complete one of several steps. The label does not state the mac and cheese takes '3½ minutes to cook in the microwave,' which would have been true."
Ms. Ramirez then states the obvious: "To provide consumers with mac and cheese that is actually 'ready in 3½ minutes,' it would need to be cooked in the microwave for less than 3-and-a-half minutes so that all the preparation steps could be completed in the 3-and-a-half minute timeframe. Consumers are misled to expect the mac and cheese will be ready for consumption in a shorter amount of time than it really takes to prepare."
I understand that Tarantino has acquired the film rights.
Ramirez v. Kraft Heinz, 22-cv-23782-BB