Chaos erupted in supermarkets across France as shoppers brawled trying to get their hands on discounted Nutella.
Fights — and even riots — were reported in multiple parts of the country after the Intermarché chain began a promotion for the chocolate and hazelnut spread Thursday. More than a million 950-gram pots were slashed in price by 70% from $5.85 to $1.75.
Police had to intervene in a brawl in the northern town of Ostricourt, Le Parisien newspaper reported. An employee at one store in Forbach, near the border with Germany, likened the scenes to an orgy, telling Le Monde newspaper that shoppers had broken items in their rush for the treat.
Video footage of the chaos shows shoppers stuffing jars of Nutella into bags.
“Some customers came the night before the promotion to stash the Nutella pots in other places, so to prevent others from taking them,” Jean-Marie Daragon, the manager of the Intermarché store in Montbrison, central France, told Le Progres, the local paper in the Loire Valley.
A worker at another store in L’Horme told Le Progres that all the jars were gone in 15 minutes, and one customer was given a black eye.
Ferrero, the company that produces Nutella, distanced itself from the chaos, saying it had nothing to do with the promotion.
“We want to clarify that the decision for the special offer was taken unilaterally by Intermarché,” the firm said in a statement. “We regret the consequences of this operation, which created confusion and disappointment in the consumers’ minds.”
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