Woman sues Cold Stone Creamery over lack of pistachios in pistachio ice cream

The suit claims that some of the ice creams sold at Cold Stone Creamery “do not contain their represented ingredients.”

A New York federal judge has ruled that a woman’s class action lawsuit complaining that the pistachio ice cream she ordered did not contain pistachios can go forward, The Associated Press reported.

According to the suit, some of the ice creams sold at Cold Stone Creamery “do not contain their represented ingredients,” NBC News reported.

Jenna Marie Duncan said she purchased a serving of pistachio ice cream from a Cold Stone Creamery store in Levittown, New York, in or around July 2022 while, according to her lawsuit, “reasonably” believing that “the Pistachio ice cream she purchased from defendant contained pistachio.”

But Duncan said she later learned that there are no pistachios in the treat, only “pistachio flavoring.”

“When consumers purchase pistachio ice cream, they expect pistachios, not a concoction of processed ingredients,” Duncan’s lawsuit reads.

The suit challenges the claim that Cold Stone’s mango, coconut, orange, mint, butter pecan ice creams and orange sorbet have the ingredients their names suggest.

U.S. District Court Judge Gary R. Brown wrote in his order that the case “raises a deceptively complex question about the reasonable expectations of plaintiff and like-minded ice cream aficionados.”

So, should you expect pistachios when you order pistachio ice cream?

“And if the answer is no, should that leave them with a bitter aftertaste?” wrote the judge who, in his decision, drew heavily on puns using songs about ice cream.

Brown explained that Duncan’s alleged claims of deceptive practices under New York’s General Business Law “are plausible on their face” when it comes to the pistachio ice cream she purchased, the AP reported.

However, Brown acknowledged it’s a tricky argument for an ice cream manufacturer to make when it comes to modern-day flavors, 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.”

The state’s law prohibits “deceptive acts and practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in furnishing of any service.”

Kahala Franchising LLC, the parent franchiser of nearly 1,000 Cold Stone stores, asked that the case be dismissed, arguing that a detailed list of the ice cream ingredients are published online, according to the AP.

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