Woman Files Lawsuit Against Ice Cream Retailer Over Misleading Pistachio Ice Cream

A woman in Long Island has taken legal action against an ice cream retailer for selling pistachio ice cream that lacks pistachios. Jenna Marie Duncan has filed a lawsuit against Cold Stone Creamery’s parent company, Kahala Franchising, alleging that the company is violating New York business law by falsely advertising their ice cream flavors.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court Eastern District of New York in August, argues that promoting ice cream made with artificial flavors is deceptive and goes against consumer expectations. Federal Judge Gary Brown recently ruled that the case can proceed, potentially allowing customers who were misled, like Duncan, to receive up to $50 under current New York law.

The lawsuit specifically targets seven artificial flavors used in Cold Stone Creamery’s products, including pistachio ice cream, mango ice cream, coconut ice cream, orange sorbet, orange ice cream, mint ice cream, and butter pecan. The complaint claims that these flavors are created using processed ingredients and do not contain the ingredients they are named after.

According to the lawsuit, Cold Stone employees achieve the pistachio flavor by mixing water, ethanol, propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavorings, and food coloring. The company allegedly fails to disclose to customers that their ice cream flavors do not contain the expected ingredients, despite selling them at premium prices starting at $7.50 for small sizes.

The lawsuit argues that other ice cream brands like Haagen-Dazs, Thrifty, and Ben & Jerry’s use real ingredients in their pistachio ice cream, unlike Cold Stone Creamery. While some of Cold Stone’s flavors do contain real ingredients, the plaintiff claims that consumers are being misled into paying more for products that do not meet their expectations.

A recent independent marketing survey cited in the lawsuit showed that consumers can be deceived when purchasing ice cream based on the belief that it contains real ingredients. The plaintiff and other consumers are seeking compensation for the misleading marketing practices of Cold Stone Creamery.

The plaintiff is requesting a jury trial in the case to hold Cold Stone accountable for their deceptive conduct. A lawyer representing Cold Stone has declined to comment on the ongoing legal proceedings.