Deeply discounted sale of Nutella turns French customers into 'animals'

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Credit: Justin Sullivan

How much do fans of Nutella love the chocolate hazelnut spread? Apparently, enough to fight over it.

A grocery store chain in northern France put its stock of Nutella on sale at a 70 percent discount, and hundreds of customers rushed to buy it, Newsweek reported. Customers clearing the shelves pushed and shoved, and some resorted to punches, the magazine reported.

Intermarché, a supermarket chain, had put a $1.76 price tag on a 33.51-ounce jar of Nutella and said the sale was good from Thursday through Sunday. Store officials also warned that supplies were limited.

The result was a traffic deadlock and surly crowds that forced police to the store to manage the mayhem, Newsweek reported. Local media reported that the entire Nutella stock was cleared out in under an hour.

"We were trying to get in between the customers, but they were pushing us," a store employee in Loire, in central France, told Le Progres, adding that one customer received a black eye. In Saint-Chamond, all 300 jars sold out in 15 minutes, Newsweek reported.

“There was fighting. We sold what we sell in three months," an employee told Le Progres. adding he had never seen anything like it in 16 years of working in the store.

Similar scenes were filmed on a mobile phone in Rive-de-Gier, where one customer said people “behaved like animals.”

“A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady was thrown a box on her head, another woman had blood on her hand. It was horrible,” the customer told Le Progres.

The store manager in Rive-de-Gier denied there were incidents.

"There were lots of people, lots of noise, but the reports of violence were surprising to me. They're not true," he told The Local, adding that the sale was "a success."

A spokesman for Intermarché told Le Parisien the company had no comment.

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