Nutella Discount Sparks Riots and Chaos Across French Supermarkets

"22" by Allison.Hare is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pandemonium broke out in French supermarkets on Thursday as shoppers fought to purchase heavily discounted pots of Nutella. Yes, that’s right: the popular chocolate and hazelnut spread.

The giant French supermarket Intermarché decided to offer a 70% discount on 950g jars of Nutella from €4.50 (£3.90) to €1.41 (£1.20).

Police were called to various stores around the country as what have been described as ‘riots’ broke out, with pushing and fighting. In one store in Saint-Cyprien (on the south coast of France), reportedly one member of staff was pounced on whilst carrying a crate of the jars on the shop floor.

“They are like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand,” one appalled customer told French media. Whilst one member of staff at Intermarché told a French newspaper, “We were trying to get in between the customers but they were pushing us.”

Shocking footage on social media shows customers in a frenzy, jostling to get their hands on the discounted jars, whilst staff attempting to calm the disorder.

Nutella was created by the Ferrero family in the Piedmont region of Italy, where they farmed the hazelnuts for the chocolate spread. The Ferrero company said in a statement that they ‘deplored’ the violence, however, were keen to comment that the huge discount was unilaterally an Intermarché decision.

Nutella’s popularity varies country to country. In 160 countries over 365 million kilos of Nutella is consumed every year. However, France is responsible for 100 million jars of that quota, which is more than any country other than Germany.

Hilariously, Nutella is so popular in France, that a couple in 2015 were banned by a judge from naming their child ‘Nutella’, as it wasn’t in the child’s interest.

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