The hazelnut spread Nutella nearly triggered a wave of riots across France this week when Intermarche supermarkets offered a 70% on the popular product, lowering the price of a jar from 4.50 euros to 1.40 euros.
In some cases, police were called when people began pushing and fighting one another trying to get their hands on as many containers as they could carry, the BBC reported.
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“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 customer told French media.
A member of staff at one Intermarché shop in central France told the regional newspaper Le Progrès: “We were trying to get in between the customers but they were pushing us.”
All of that supermarket’s stock of Nutella was gone within 15 minutes, while one customer left with a black eye. Similar scenes have been reported across France, with some being described by authorities as “riots.”
The hunt for discounted jars continued on Friday, with a supermarket near Toulouse rationing one jar per customer.
Nutella was created by the Ferrero family in the 1940s in the Piedmont region of Italy, which is famed for its hazelnuts.
Intermarche said it regretted the violence it had inadvertently caused, saying the discount had been decided at the corporate level.
If nothing else, the phenomenon has been a valuable source of free advertising for the brand…