Cold Stone Creamery faces lawsuit over ice cream ingredients (here's what it really contains)

Cold Stone by is licensed under Youtube
NEW YORK, NY- A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit to proceed that could have significant implications for how ice cream ingredients are represented to consumers.

The case, led by Jenna Marie Duncan from Long Island, accuses Cold Stone Creamery of misleading customers about the contents of their ice cream flavors, including pistachio and others.

In July 2022, Duncan purchased pistachio ice cream from a Cold Stone Creamery in Levittown, New York.

She believed it contained actual pistachios.

However, she later discovered from the company's website that the ice cream contained no pistachios, but rather a mix of water, ethanol, propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavorings, and food colorings.

Duncan’s lawsuit argues that consumers expect real pistachios in pistachio ice cream, not a mixture of processed ingredients.

She points out that other brands, like Haagen-Dazs, use real pistachios in their products.

Duncan's complaint extends beyond pistachio to other flavors like mango, coconut, orange, mint, butter pecan, and orange sorbet.

U.S. District Court Judge Gary R. Brown has allowed the lawsuit to proceed, finding Duncan's claims of deceptive practices under New York's General Business Law plausible.

This law prohibits deceptive acts and practices in business and trade.

Judge Brown's ruling, filled with ice cream-related song lyrics, underscores the complex question of consumer expectations.

He ponders whether customers should reasonably expect actual pistachios in their pistachio ice cream and whether disappointment over the lack of real ingredients constitutes a legal issue.

Kahala Franchising LLC, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, argued for the case's dismissal.

They stated that detailed ingredient lists are available online and that no signage at the Levittown store claimed the ice cream contained specific ingredients.

They highlighted that consumers could see there were no visible chunks of specific ingredients, implying that the ice cream was flavored rather than made with real ingredients.

This case is part of a broader trend of lawsuits over product ingredients and advertising.

Similar cases have been filed against fast food chains and other food products for not delivering on advertised promises, like the size of burgers or the health benefits of drinks.

These cases often hinge on whether terms like "vanilla" or "pistachio" describe a flavor or an actual ingredient.

Judge Brown noted that modern flavors complicate these disputes, noting “When one orders a ‘Moose Tracks’ ice cream cone, the hoofprints of the largest member of the deer family linguistically acts as an adjective.”
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