NUTS ABOUT NUTELLA?: French shoppers riot over heavily discounted chocolate spread

Paris – VIJAY SHAH via CHRIS BAYNES and The Independent

Everyone loves a bargain. But on the negative side, a shopper’s paradise can very rapidly turn into a shopper’s nightmare when people turn ugly over bagging cut-price goods. Just ask any retail worker on a Black Friday in Britain. That free-for-all mentality became very obvious this past week in France, when local supermarket chain Intermarché heavily reduced the price of Nutella hazelnut and chocolate spread, only for riots to ensure and people reported injured in mad scrambles and store fisticuffs.

Intermarché unveiled a special promo on the popular spread, manufactured by Italian firm Ferrero SpA, reducing the price from €4.50 (£3.90) to €1.41 (£1.23) for the 950 gram jar. Customers keen to get their Nutella crepe fix practically fought over the jars in the aisles, causing police to be called to several of the chain’s outlets. There were reports of people pushing and shoving, with one woman left bleeding and a supermarket worker ambushed as they brought fresh stocks of Nutella to the shop floor.

 

According to UK newspaper the Independent, French social media users shared footage of shoppers swarming around shelves of the spread, jostling each other. “Seriously? All this for Nutella,” remarked one stunned bystander. Another commented: “This is not normal.”

One customer was said to have suffered a black eye during a fight that broke out over the sweet spread in a store in the town of L’Horme, in the central Loire region. That store sold out of Nutella in only fifteen minutes, a store employee told newspaper Le Progres. The manager of another Intermarché in Rive-de-Gier, central France, said 600 pots were sold within five minutes. One customer described shoppers as “like animals”.

“A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a blood [sic] hand,” they said. “It was horrible.”

Some extremely desperate Nutella fans in the town of Montbrison, also in central France, went to the extent of hiding Nutella jars in secret places in the shop, ready to harvest them the next day, while keeping the precious foodstuffs out of the sight of rival shoppers. The manager of that store, Jean-Marie Daragon, tried to remedy the madness by bringing in a Nutella rationing scheme, limiting customers to three jars per person.

Alba, Piedmont-based manufacturer Ferrero condemned the violence across the border but also distanced itself from Intermarché and its controversial promotion. “We wish to clarify that this promotion was decided unilaterally by the Intermarché brand,” it said in a statement. 

Nutella is extremely popular in France, with 100 million jars a year consumed by citizens, making France one of the hazelnut and chocolate flavoured spread’s biggest markets globally.

SOURCES:

The Independent, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/TheIndependentOnline/

“Nutella ‘riots’: Sale on chocolate and hazelnut spread sparks chaos in French supermarkets” – Chris Baynes, Independent (26 January 2018) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/nutella-riots-france-discount-supermarkets-french-police-intermarche-shoppers-customers-chocolate-a8178946.html?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:MAD OVER NUTELLA.JPG” – Raginianand, Wikimedia Commons (3 June 2015) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MAD_OVER_NUTELLA.JPG

 

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VIDEO MOMENT: The Choco Kebab

 

Like most young British men (and women), I am very fond of kebabs, the Turkish, Greek and Central Asian fast food delicacy of meat and vegetables in a bread pocket. Since the doner kebab and its equally delicious siblings began appearing on the high streets here in the 1970s, the food has become a staple of pub crawls, family get-togethers and football matches.

So, when I was shown this video by my sister yesterday, which is usually kebab night for me, I just had to share this with you as a kebab fan. I’m also a chocaholic, so when this video began playing, I was shocked and pleased in equal measure that two of my greatest culinary loves had been fused into one delicious, mouth-watering and calorie-saturated snack.

Give a big round of applause to the Choco Kebab. Hailing from Italy, which has a large Afghan and Turkish populations famed for their greasy meat in rolls, this kebab replaces the spinning cylinder of processed lamb or chicken with one of white and milk chocolate. The cook shears off curls of chocolate with a special implement and packs them into a crepe, rather than the usual pitta or naan. The accompanying mayonnaise, chill sauce and ketchup is replaced with Nutella, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and other sweet treats.

This unique kebab is sold around the world, according to the video above, but I have never encountered anyone selling it here, and I live in London, one of the most adventurous cities for food in Europe. I’m now tempted to buy a van, empty the local stores of all their chocolate and party snacks, and become the richest chocolate kebab entrepreneur this side of the Adriatic.

Let me know what you think of this latest food trend.

VIDEO CREDITS:
INSIDER, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/thisisinsider/?fref=nf
Alia Hellz Bachell.