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Pinkberry settles yogurt suit

April 11, 2008|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer

Pinkberry is spooning out some cold hard cash to end a class-action lawsuit.

Ron Graves, chief executive of the Los Angeles-based company, said Thursday that Pinkberry had settled the suit filed by disgruntled customers contending that the popular frozen treat might not be yogurt.

"We're really happy to put the debate behind us," he said. "There was a lot of misinformation swirling out there -- everything from it isn't really yogurt to there weren't live and active cultures. . . . The product was real frozen yogurt then. It still is."

After the suit was filed, Pinkberry acknowledged that it wasn't in compliance with state food guidelines that require frozen yogurt to be mixed off-site, not in stores.

Pinkberry's product now is mixed at a dairy, Graves said.

The suit, filed in May, forced the company to disclose its ingredients, now posted on www.pinkberry.com.

As part of the settlement, Pinkberry will give a total of $750,000 to two Southern California charities, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Para los Ninos, a child-care group.

Attorney Michael Amir, who filed the suit, said: "We made the point we needed to make . . . and we're very happy."

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kimi.yoshino@latimes.com

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