There is a saying amongst chocolate-spread connoisseurs that although you can’t buy happiness, you can buy a jar of Nutella. So when a French supermarket chain discounted the chocolatey goodness by 70%, shoppers were keen to get more than their fair share.
Chaotic scenes were reported at branches of Intermarche as customers fought to take advantage of the offer. Videos posted online showed the lengths to which people were prepared to go in order to get their hands on the spread.
“It was a real disaster, 200 people were outside waiting for the supermarket’s opening,” one employee at a store in Metz, northeast France,” told CNN. “All of this mess for a Nutella jar.”
“People just rushed in, shoving everyone, breaking things. It was like an orgy,” another employee in Forbach, northeast France, told AFP. “We were on the verge of calling the police.”
Staff at one store, in Otstricourt, were forced to call police after disturbances broke out.
The regular price of Nutella at Intermarche is at €4.50 ($5.60). It was discounted to €1.41 ($1.75).
Intermarche apologized to its customers, saying it had been “surprised” by the demand.
It is not the first time that demand for Nutella has turned violent. In September 2015, a 78-year-old shopper in California said he was punched in the face after complaining that another customer took too many Nutella waffle samples.
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The makers of Nutella, Ferrero Brands, said that the decision to discount the product was made unilaterally by Intermarche.
Police in Otstricourt told CNN that when officers arrived, the crowd calmed down and no arrests were made.