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Cold Stone Creamery Could Shell out Cash for Not Putting Pistachios in Pistachio Ice Cream
anthony-haddad-1
By Anthony Haddad
Published 1 week ago on
June 11, 2024

A federal judge approves a class action lawsuit against Cold Stone Creamery, supporting claims that the ice cream chain misleads customers by selling flavors without their advertised ingredients, exemplified by pistachio ice cream containing no actual pistachios. (Shutterstock)

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A federal judge in New York has given the green light to a class action lawsuit against Cold Stone Creamery brought forth by a Long Island woman, Jenna Marie Duncan.

The lawsuit alleges that consumers are being misled by the popular ice cream chain when purchasing certain flavors that don’t contain the ingredients they expect, ABC News reports.

Pistachio Ice Cream Without Pistachios

Duncan’s complaint centers around her purchase of pistachio ice cream from a Cold Stone Creamery store in Levittown, New York, in July 2022.

She claims she was under the reasonable belief that the ice cream contained real pistachios, only to discover later that it was flavored with a mixture of processed ingredients, including water, Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, natural and artificial flavor, Yellow 5, and Blue 1, according to the lawsuit.

This issue extends beyond pistachio ice cream. Duncan also takes aim at Cold Stone’s mango, coconut, orange, mint, and butter pecan ice creams, as well as its orange sorbet, alleging similar deceptive practices regarding the ingredients.

U.S. District Court Judge Gary R. Brown, in his ruling, acknowledged the complexity of the case. He reflected on whether the term “pistachio ice cream” implied the presence of actual pistachios and whether consumers have a right to expect such ingredients in their ice cream.

Cold Stone Creamery Attempted to Dismiss Case

Cold Stone Creamery attempted to dismiss the case by arguing that detailed ingredient lists are available online and that there were no signs at the Levittown location indicating the ice creams were made with specific ingredients.

However, Judge Brown found Duncan’s claims of deceptive practices plausible under New York’s General Business Law, which prohibits deceptive acts and practices in commerce.

This lawsuit is part of a broader trend of consumers holding companies accountable for failing to deliver on advertised promises. Judge Brown noted the ongoing debate over whether terms like “pistachio” are used as nouns, implying actual ingredients, or as adjectives, describing flavors.

He suggests that in modern ice cream flavors like “Moose Tracks,” the naming convention blurs the line between noun and adjective.

The case will now proceed, allowing Duncan and others to challenge Cold Stone Creamery’s marketing practices in court.

Read more at ABC News

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Anthony Haddad,
Multimedia Journalist
Anthony W. Haddad, who graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with his undergraduate degree and has an MBA at Fresno State, is the Swiss Army knife of GV Wire. He writes stories, manages social media, and represents the organization on the ground.

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