Woman Takes Legal Action Against Cold Stone for Lack of Pistachios in Ice Cream

Is it crazy to think that real pistachios should be used in a scoop of pistachio ice cream? Or how about a bowl of butter pecans using actual butter?

Courts may soon have to make such important decisions over a beloved summertime treat.

A class action complaint filed by a lady from Long Island alleging that Cold Stone Creamery is deceiving customers by selling them flavors that “do not contain their represented ingredients” has been granted approval by a federal judge in New York.

In or around July 2022, lead plaintiff Jenna Marie Duncan bought her serve of pistachio ice cream from a Cold Stone Creamery location in Levittown, New York. Duncan “reasonably believed that the Pistachio ice cream she purchased from defendant contained pistachio,” according to her claim.

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However, Duncan discovered later, upon perusing the company’s website, that the frozen dairy product did not contain pistachios, a type of cashew; rather, it contained “pistachio flavoring,” which is described in the lawsuit as a blend of water, ethanol, propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavor, Yellow 5, and Blue 1.

According to Duncan’s lawsuit, “when consumers purchase pistachio ice cream, they expect pistachios, not a concoction of processed ingredients,” despite the fact that rival brands like Haagen-Dazs incorporate actual pistachios into their product.

The ingredients in Cold Stone’s orange sorbet and mango, coconut, orange, mint, and butter pecan ice creams are another point of contention for Duncan.

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

His occasionally lighthearted ruling is peppered with lyrics from popular ice cream songs, such as Louis Prima’s “Banana Split for My Baby” and Weird Al Yankovic’s “I Love Rocky Road.”


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