Shoppers in France go nuts for 70 percent Nutella discount

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Brawls have broken out in French supermarkets as shoppers scrambled to get their hands on discounted pots of chocolate and hazelnut spread.

Hysterical scenes were filmed in several supermarkets across the country operated by the Intermarche chain, which offered massive discounts on pots of Nutella.

The promotion, launched on Thursday, reduced the price of more than a million 950-gram pots from 4.70 euros ($5.85) to 1.41 ($1.75).

In one video posted on Twitter, customers are seen shoving each other and shouting as they try to get as many pots as possible. According to Le Parisien newspaper, shoppers started to fight in the northern town of Ostricourt, prompting police to step in.

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

Netizens reacted with much merriment over the furor.

"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).

Intermarche did not immediately answer a message from The Associated Press seeking comments. Ferrero, the company that produces Nutella, deplored the incidents and distanced itself from the supermarket chain.

"We want to clarify that the decision for the special offer was taken unilaterally by Intermarche," the company said in a statement. "We regret the consequences of this operation, which created confusion and disappointment in the consumers' minds."

The discount was meant to last until Saturday but stocks ran out very quickly at many supermarkets. Sales went smoothly in some places, however, with no incident reported in several supermarkets taking part in the promotion.

Nearly 365 million kilos of the spread are consumed every year around the world.

Around 100 million jars are consumed in France alone.

Nutella is a brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero that was first introduced in 1965, although its first iteration dates to 1963.

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