5/8/2007

Is Pinkberry Really Frozen Yogurt?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I had an interesting comment on my entry about Pinkberry:

Troll on Starling Fitness

The FDA has cracked down on Pinkberry? Pinkberry isn’t really frozen yogurt?! I might believe it, but the commenter didn’t put a real name, they just put FDA in the name field. Additionally, the commenter didn’t include a link to the FDA announcements which state EVERY single company they have served injunctions to. So, I did the research.

Pinkberry search on FDA websiteI searched the FDA website, but they have no mention of Pinkberry at all. The case was the same with the phrase “Red Mango” and “Ice Berry,” two Korean companies that have similar products. Compared with Cortislim, with eight entries, Pinkberry’s nose is clean. The FDA has NOT told Pinkberry to stop calling their product frozen yogurt.

I thought that maybe this is something that the local news programs had reported and I missed because I don’t live in Los Angeles, so I did a search for Pinkberry and FDA. I came up with a lot of results. Here’s one from Somah.com in the comments section:

Troll on Somah.com

Again, it’s an anonymous poster saying the exact same thing as the commenter on my site. It even looks like a cut and paste job.

Here’s another search result from Colleen Cuisine was in her comments section of her weblog:

Troll on Colleen Cuisine

Well, ANOTHER, anonymous post this time stating that the Yogurt Association had been involved. After a thorough search of the National Yogurt Association’s website, there wasn’t one mention of Pinkberry with even a tentative warning. A search for frozen yogurt turned up this comment:

No standard of identity exists for frozen yogurt products, but they too may contain live and active cultures.

In order for manufacturers to carry the seal, refrigerated yogurt products must contain at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture, and frozen yogurt products must contain 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.

The National Yogurt Association has standards, but it doesn’t look like they’ve announced anything against Pinkberry.

Wow, yet another, anonymous post with no proof. Can you really trust the word of someone who won’t stand behind their words or back them up with proof? Can you trust them THREE times?

In fact, the ONLY mention of Pinkberry and FDA that wasn’t the troll was this article from East West Magazine:

They said:

Compared to its heavier cousin ice cream, Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt can be described as having “less calories and fat, but not healthier,” says Sass, who compared Pinkberry’s nutritional facts with FDA requirements for when a food can put the word “healthy” on its label. The froyo alone, Pinkberry’s as well as frozen yogurt in general, does not have enough vitamins to be labeled as such, she says. But since Pinkberry is not being sold in stores, no food label is actually required and calling it “healthy” is not against FDA regulations.

So, it looks like Pinkberry is trying to follow the standards for the FDA’s requirements for the word “healthy.” East West Magazine doesn’t have the troll on their comments because they require registration to log in.

It looks like someone is out to get Pinkberry. As of this date, the FDA hasn’t said anything to Pinkberry about their frozen yogurt standing. If anyone wants to say something to the contrary, they need to back it up with proof.

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14 Responses to “Is Pinkberry Really Frozen Yogurt?”

  1. Ernie Says:

    The Great Pinkberry Controversy of ’07!

  2. Megan Says:

    I really dislike anonymous posters on my blog. In fact, I was able to block them, which was good, because I was getting mean & nasty comments.

    Boooo to the TROLLS!

    Great investigating, Laura!

  3. iportion Says:

    What can they call it then icemilk or maybe the can add vitamins and call it something else.

  4. Jay Says:

    Thanks, that was well researched and I hope it helps the skeptics. If you go into Pinkberry and ask, they’ll tell you that it’s made with real yogurt (some research of my own!).

    Jay

  5. Ed Says:

    Sorry guys, I know it’s hard to admit, but it’s true. Heard rumors from numerous people and the official report from the California Dept of Food and Agriculture (not FDA) was released as noted in the LA Times. CDFA is like the FDA, just think State and Local govt. Just because something doesn’t Google doesn’t mean it ain’t out there. Pinkberry’s claim to Low Fat, Low Sugar and Low Calories is now up in the air and what is in that “powder” they use is being researched. They HAVE removed the term “Frozen Yogurt” from all literature and website. I’m glad the truth was told so I know what I was eating!

    Read for yourself: LA Times – Pinkberry In Culture Clash

  6. Laura Moncur Says:

    Thanks so much for hunting down that article. I really appreciate it. The best quote from the article from the LA Times:

    “For lack of a better word, it’s just dessert.”

    Good job! Thanks again!

  7. Jay Says:

    If you read the article, you’ll see that it’s a technicality at heart: it being LEGALLY called “frozen yogurt” depends on where it’s processed, not on what the ingredients are. Kinda stupid if you ask me but oh well.

    Jay

  8. Aianah Says:

    Is it really such a big deal? Personally, I did really like the product, it taste like an unsweetened and sour version of Yakult. Anyway, the point is you guys are making it seem like a big deal–similar to HEBE CO. v. SHAW , 248 U.S. 297 (1919) case… If you ask me it is just a swirl of cold, spoiled-like, sour tasting substance that does not deserve so much attention. As for their shaved ice, I prefer Taiwanese slushy, Filipino Halo-halo, and Japanese parfait. (those aren’t as healthy for you but I do admit they are delicious!)

  9. jeannie Says:

    Think about this… If we start cracking down on Pinkberry, shouldn’t we do the same for all other food outlets that “TRICK” us. Should we sue Mcdonalds because the happy meal, doesn’t really make us happy? It makes our kids fat and then we are sad. Look at the perservatives that are injected in the food we buy, even at the grocery store, those are not disclosed to us? Look at Nutrisweet..it causes cancer yet is put in lo-cal and healthy items. My point is this, let the stupid get tricked. If you know that it is fake and not healthy, dont go there! dont support it! If others want to go there and dont care about really asking what they are eating, then they deserved to be ripped off. Also- all fads come to an end… 🙂

  10. Debbie Says:

    According to Wikipedia, Pinkberry “does not contain the minimum amount of culture to call itself frozen yogurt, according to California state law.”

    Red Mango rocks 😉

  11. kim Says:

    Debbie,

    How can Wikipedia be considered a reliable source?

  12. Laura Moncur Says:

    Kim,

    Actually, Nature Magazine did a comprehensive test of Encyclopedia Britannica Vs. Wikipedia and they were comparable in their accuracy:

    So, Wikipedia IS considered a reliable source.

    Laura

  13. Michael Lynn Says:

    Good Lord people… if you like the way it tastes, eat it. If not, don’t.

  14. susan chapman Says:

    I was intrigued at the beginning of this story about “yogurt” or “not yogurt” and FDA guidlines. What I was most disappointed about was that it turned into every other artical that allows people to add their comments. There are too many negative and petty people that have nothing better to do then complain. I will go back to not reading sites like this now. I enjoy my reading experiences much better that way. Oh and just one more thing to say : its just “frozen yogurt” not exactly a topic that should consume a persons every thought. If you like frozen yogurt and you are concerned with the ingredients just ask the employee at your favorate shop what the ingredients are. End of story. Wow that felt liberating ! Thank you !

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