Deep discount leads to Nutella riots
You’ve got to respect the French — if they’re going to riot over a sale, it’s not going to be for anything as tired as a Playstation or as confusing as a gift box of pickles. No, if the French are going to throw down over a product, it’s going to be something important. Something essential to their culture. Something that gives them life.
It’s going to be for Nutella.
Nutella Is So Good People Are Literally Brawling Over It
Yesterday, the French supermarket chain Intermarché took the lives of the public into their hands when they offered a 70% discount on jars of Nutella at their stores. The result was a scene that we in the United States aren’t used to unless it’s every single frickin’ year on Black Friday.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 26, 2018
“Violence and chaos,” y’all.
According to the BBC, one woman told French media that shoppers were “…like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand.” The Guardian reported that at one store, an employee who was trying to break up a Nutella fight got punched in the eye, and another store sold out of all its Nutella in 15 minutes. At least three stores had to call the police.
Some supermarkets tried to put a stop to the insanity by limiting customers to a certain number of jars, but in videos from other stores, you can see everyone from elderly women to young children being pushed aside as people scrambled for armloads of that hazelnut, chocolatey goodness.
How popular is Nutella? Well, we know that it’s at least “punch an old lady in the face” popular. According to an article on BBC.com, in one year people eat about 365 million kilos (or 804 million pounds) of Nutella. That’s like 15 Statues of Liberty, or three Brooklyn Bridges, or 2,000 blue whales, all made of delicious Nutella.
Sophie Chevalier, a French anthropologist and specialist in customer behavior, was quoted in The Guardian saying that these kinds of consumer riots are rare in France, “except when there’s a particularly exceptional sale, and more what we see in developing countries or where there’s a regular shortage of essential products.”
Nutella: It’s France’s apocalypse toilet paper.
But before we get up on our high horse, America, let’s not forget that our country was responsible for the Walmart Waffle Iron Riot of 2011. So maybe we should hang back a bit on judging with this one.
Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, issued a statement that firmly laid the blame on Intermarché saying, “The company Ferrero wishes to recall that this promotion was decided unilaterally by the brand Intermarché.”
In related news, your mother now works for Ferrero and would like to remind you that it was your choice to go out in December without a hat.