Police called in as French shoppers go nuts over Nutella discount

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Intermarche supermarkets slashed Nutella prices by 70 per cent from 4.50 euros (S$7.30) to just 1..41 euros, causing a frenzy among shoppers. PHOTO: REUTERS

STRASBOURG, FRANCE (AFP) - A French supermarket chain's decision to slash the price of Nutella by 70 per cent has sparked frenzy, with shoppers across the country jostling to squirrel away as many jars of the nutty spread as possible in what one worker likened to an orgy.

Video posted online Thursday and testimony from baffled supermarket workers showed long queues forming outside Intermarche supermarkets and chaotic scenes as bargain hunters stormed inside.

"People just rushed in, shoving everyone, breaking things. It was like an orgy," one employee in the north-eastern town of Forbach told AFP, asking to remain anonymous. "We were on the verge of calling the police."

Another employee in Revigny-sur-Ornain said it was no wonder there was a run on the shelves: "70 per cent off? That's a steal."

When contacted by AFP, Intermarche apologised to its customers and said it had been "surprised" by the sheer demand.

The chain usually sells Nutella for 4.50 euros (S$7.30) but with the discount jars were going for just 1.41 euros.

Netizens reacted with much merriment over the furore.

"Seriously??!! All this just for Nutella," posted Kenny Le Bon (@KennyLeBon) on Twitter alongside a video of a crowd of shoppers scrambling over a rapidly depleting stand of jars.

"Was gonna get some Sunday. But I don't wanna die," added Ruthii Trudie (@ruthii-rawr).

Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, said the discount decision was taken "unilaterally" by Intermarche and risked creating "confusion and disappointment" for consumers.

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