Home International News Hazelnut Hysteria: Discounted Nutella Sparks Supermarket Riots in France

Hazelnut Hysteria: Discounted Nutella Sparks Supermarket Riots in France

Rabat- Hundreds of customers rushed to Intermarché outlets across France on Thursday, causing near riots as they snatched as many tubs of Nutella as possible, in response to dramatic discounts applied to the famous hazelnut spread.

On Thursday, January 25, the Intermarché store chain dropped prices of 950 g-jars of Nutella by 70 percent, bringing its price to EUR 1.41. The chain did not anticipate, however, that France’s favorite chocolate spread would lead to pushing, fighting, and general disarray at some outlets.

Enormous queues formed in front of the gates of many Intermarché supermarkets before they opened; after 15 minutes, shoppers cleared the shelves.

“It’s crazy, it seems to be the first day of sales,” an employee of Intermarché Haguenau told AFP.  

In one store, a staff member told local media that he was “punched in the eye while trying to separate warring customers.”

“They are like animals. One woman’s hair was pulled. An elderly lady was hit on the head with a box. Another had a bloody hand,” one customer said.

“People were piling in, they knocked everything over and broke stuff. It was an orgy… we were on the point of calling the police,” another staff member said.

Local media outlets reported that police had to intervene in one of the Intermarché branches located in the north of the country to put an end to a fight.

Nutella’s Italian manufacturer, Ferrero, said in a statement that it “deplored” the violence but kept itself distant from the supermarket promotion.

“We wish to clarify that this promotion was decided unilaterally by the Intermarché brand,” the statement reads.

The supermarket chain recently issued another statement, in which Intermarché apologized for the “disagreeable events customers suffered.”

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