Cold Stone Creamery Sued Over Pistachios

Cold Stone Creamery Sued Over Pistachios
Various of ice cream flavor in cones blueberry ,strawberry ,pistachio ,almond ,orange and cherry setup on dark stone background . Summer and Sweet menu concept.

( – A New York federal judge, Gary R. Brown, ruled that a class-action lawsuit filed against Cold Stone Creamery can proceed. The lawsuit claims that customers are being cheated by the products of certain flavors in the name of the ice cream when the product does not consist of the ingredient represented in the name.

Jeanna Marie Duncan, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, bought a serving of pistachio ice cream, believing it to contain actual pistachios. Only after she read Cold Stone Creamery’s website did she learn that it was only pistachio-flavored ice cream.

According to the lawsuit, the actual contents of the ice cream were a mixture of Propylene Glycol, Ethanol, water, artificial and natural flavor, Blue 1, and Yellow 5. According to the lawsuit, customers should expect actual pistachios in the product, not just processed ingredients. It also notes that other brands of ice cream, like Haagen-Dazs, use actual pistachios in their products.

Duncan’s lawsuit also included Cold Stone Creamery’s ingredients in its orange sorbet and mint, mango, orange, coconut, and butter pecan ice creams.

When releasing his decision in May, Brown acknowledged the complexity of the case, particularly in defining reasonable expectations when purchasing a product. He said that the case is based on the General Business Law of New York, which states that deception in any commerce, trade, or business is prohibited.

The parent franchiser for Cold Stone’s almost 1,000 stores globally, Kahala Franchising LLC, attempted in court to have the lawsuit dismissed. They claimed that they posted the ingredients online, but they didn’t mention any ice creams that claimed to contain specific ingredients.

In the past, many lawsuits have involved companies advertising specific benefits, sizes, or ingredients that their products do not support. According to Brown’s ruling, these lawsuits reveal a semantic argument when a word could serve as a product’s actual ingredient or merely describe its flavor. He used “Moose Tracks” as an example of actual hoofprints or just an adjective.

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