$70k fine for Yoghurt Story's faux yoghurt
A frozen yoghurt store chain has been handed a $70,000 fine for selling products that weren't really yoghurt.
Last year Yoghurt Story pleaded guilty to 63 counts of misrepresenting their "frozen yoghurt" as yoghurt and for making false claims about the health benefits of their product.
The two companies that made up the chain, Yoghurt Story New Zealand Limited and Frozen Yoghurt Limited, were this week fined $35,000 each - which was reduced from a total $270,000 because they're both in liquidation.
At the sentencing at the Auckland District Court, Judge David Sharp said the product was closer to ice-cream than yoghurt.
"Yet they decided to call their stores 'Yoghurt Story' because it was more attractive to consumers than calling it 'Ice Cream Story," he said.
He said the company the health claims made were a "significant departure from the truth" - with the chain having said the product helped immune systems, lowered the risk of diabetes and prevented infections and cold.
"The defendants' conduct was a cynical attempt to take advantage of consumers' desire to make healthier food choices."
Yoghurt Story had 22 stores around the country when the investigation began and about 10 are still running.
The store was caught out by the Commerce Commision after 15 of 17 samples taken from various stores showed the product wasn't yoghurt.