Pinkberry Settles For a Cool $1 Mil

Pinkberry, West Hollywood

I’ve been on the tail of this Pinkberry craze for about a year, now. But it boggles my mind how the popularity of this fro-yo stuff never ceases.See, I like dessert. I like lots of sweets. For instance, I love cupcakes. See, cupcake places are popping up all over the place. They’re charging over $3 for one of those things and from what I can tell, they must really be making a killing. But you don’t see people calling cupcakes, “crackcakes.” Meanwhile, Pinkberry is decidedly “crackberry.”

Not to say that Pinkberry itself hasn’t been in the center of controversy. From being accused of wiping out historic business establishments and intruding on the exclusivity serenity of anti-chain Abbott Kinney in Venice to rats being found in their Manhattan stores, they’ve definitely invited their fair share of it. And others, like Starbucks, have gotten interested enough to put their money where their mouth is by investing in it.

So when I finally heard that Pinkberry had settled their case with the plaintiff who cried foul marketing and advertising and, as a result, is donating $750,000 of the total to charities, I was satisfied for the most part because when charities win, everybody wins. It’s barely a dent in their checkbook, I’m sure. So could it have been more? Of course. I might have even enjoyed the results more if it were. But at the very least, consumers are no longer duped can no longer blame Pinkberry for duping them because who-really-eats-frozen-yogurt-for-the-health-benefits-c’mon-let’s-be-honest-now?


Now, we can finally see the ingredients of their product, which have been top secret up until this point. And of course, I don’t have to read too far to see that the 3rd through 5th listed are different ways of saying “sugar.” Or, as the NY Times so eloquently clarifies:

The ingredients list for Original Pinkberry has 23 items. Skim milk and nonfat yogurt are listed first, then three kinds of sugar: sucrose, fructose and dextrose. Fructose and maltodextrin, another ingredient, are both laboratory-produced ingredients extracted from corn syrup.

The list includes at least five additives defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as emulsifiers (propylene glycol esters, lactoglycerides, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono- and diglycerides); four acidifiers (magnesium oxide, calcium fumarate, citric acid, sodium citrate); tocopherol, a natural preservative; and two ingredients — starch and maltodextrin — that were characterized as fillers by Dr. Gary A. Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota and an expert in food additives.

The All-Natural Taste That Wasn’t – NYTimes.com

You know, I don’t say this often, but I will now because I can: I told you so.

So you know what? I think it’s high time I sue the society of Los Angeles … for mental grievances caused by failure to conform to this wacked-out addiction. It’s like I was in a movie called, “28 Days: Yogurt Edition” or something. On one hand, you think you’re going crazy; on the other hand, you were pretty much correct in thinking you were eating crap. And on both hands, everyone else had the zombie eyes.

Every single time I tried it, I tasted grit in my teeth. The stuff was too sour. It seemed to me that the yogurt was ruining good fruit, which were supposedly the toppings.

Well, help yourselves, everyone. You still won’t see me standing in line.

But supposedly, many friends of mine say Cé Fiore is the thing right now. In the same article above, NY Times cites the originator of the craze, Red Mango, as having truer ingredients. Ahh… Deep breath, now. Capitalism. Competition. What a beautiful thing.

I’d try those places and report back, but since I never really caught on to the dessert, I’d rather just not force the issue and let it die. You know, let my dollars do the talking instead of the following.

 

For those interested in the “competition” in the area that brewed as a result, look below:

List of Frozen Yogurt Places – LATimes.com

(credit to gregwong)