Supermarket boss hauled in over French ‘Nutella riots’ | world news | Hindustan Times
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Supermarket boss hauled in over French ‘Nutella riots’

Videos of French shoppers jostling as they tried to grab heavily discounted tubs of the chocolate spread Nutella in Intermarche stores have gone viral over the past week.

world Updated: Jan 31, 2018 15:16 IST
This photo taken on January 30, 2018 in Saint-Gregoire, near Rennes, northwest France, shows containers of Nutella. An independent organisation of the French economic ministry will launch an investigation on the recent 70%-off promotion of the Nutella spread, which sparked melees and brawls in several French supermarkets, learned on January 30.
This photo taken on January 30, 2018 in Saint-Gregoire, near Rennes, northwest France, shows containers of Nutella. An independent organisation of the French economic ministry will launch an investigation on the recent 70%-off promotion of the Nutella spread, which sparked melees and brawls in several French supermarkets, learned on January 30. (AFP Photo)

The French government has implored supermarkets to refrain from the kind of promotion deals that have led to in-store scuffles over cut-price jars of Nutella, a minister said Wednesday.

Videos of French shoppers jostling as they tried to grab heavily discounted tubs of the chocolate spread in Intermarche stores have gone viral over the past week.

“I met with the director of Intermarche yesterday,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said, as his government prepared to unveil a bill later Wednesday that will tighten rules on supermarket promotions.

“I told him that this must be stopped -- we can’t have scenes like this every few days in France,” Le Maire told RTL radio.

Intermarche sparked the shopping frenzy last Thursday when it slashed the price of a 950-gram (2-pound) pot of Nutella -- a favoured breakfast spread in France -- from 4.50 euros ($5.60) to 1.41 euros.

The three-day promotion prompted shoving and even full-blown fights in several stores, with one worker likening the scenes to “an orgy”.

Intermarche apologised to customers, but it has since continued with aggressive discounts on coffee and nappies.

The DGCCRF consumer agency on Monday announced it was launching an investigation into the discounts.

Le Maire urged Intermarche to “stop this kind of promotion”, saying that the pushing and shoving seen as customers clamoured to get their hands on the Nutella tubs must not become “normalised”.

He reminded Intermarche’s management that like other supermarket chains, it had already “signed a deal to no longer carry out these kind of promotions. They must keep their word.”