Kraft Beats Claims Velveeta Dish Took Too Long To Cook (Law360 Subscription Required)

  • A proposed class action filed last year in the Southern District of Florida alleges that Kraft Heinz Co. falsely markets microwavable single serve cups of Velveeta mac and cheese as “Ready in 3½ minutes” and consumers are misled to expect the product will be ready for consumption in a shorter amount of time than it really takes to prepare.  In support of her claims, the plaintiff points to the directions on the back of the packaging that show 3½ minutes is the length of time for microwaving, which is only one of several steps to prepare the product. 
  • On July 27, 2023, the judge ordered the Velveeta lawsuit dismissed without prejudice but also without leave to amend for lack of standing to bring claims for damages and injunctive relief.  The plaintiff’s initial complaint, stating that she purchased the product “between October and November 2022, among other times,” was found to contradict her allegation that she paid a premium price due to the misrepresentation of the required preparation time.  The court reasoned that these multiple purchases demonstrate that the plaintiff continued to pay the alleged price premium knowing that the product was not actually capable of being ready for consumption in 3½ minutes and, as such, show she was not deprived of the benefit of her bargain. 
  • This case exemplifies the importance of the threshold jurisdictional question of standing when a plaintiff alleges not to have received the benefit of the bargain.  A court cannot otherwise consider the merits of the claims if the plaintiff lacks standing.