In a scene that resembles a Walmart Parking lot at 5 AM on Black Friday, French shoppers were crawling all over each other to get their hands on a deal of the century. But this wasn’t an out-of-this-world markdown on an expensive TV or Hatchimal; they were there to enjoy a 70 percent discount on Nutella.
According to Mirror, French media claimed that shoppers were acting like “‘animals’ in hopes of getting their hands onto a jar of the beloved hazelnut-cocoa spread. France is the second largest global consumer of Nutella (they devour roughly 100 million jars annually). Normally a jar of Nutella in France goes for €4.50 ($5.60). But the new markdown brought prices to €1.40. ($1.74). That’s quite the markdown, but some French shoppers are debating whether it was worth it at all.
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One customer, who managed to avoid being consumed by Nutella-induced bloodlust told the French website Le Progress, that inside Rive-de-Gier (a popular French supermarket), “A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand. It was horrible.”
While some stores were forced to cap the number of jars people could buy at three, others just let the hysteria play out. According to The Mirror, a young supermarket employee said that the discount made it so that in one day they sold as much Nutella as they normally do in three months.
The French and worldwide fascination with Nutella doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. In 2012 the French Government tried to encourage healthy eating by enforcing a tax on one of the spread’s key ingredients, palm oil. Though the tax passed, the backlash was so severe that French senators managed to defeat the entire social security bill that included the tax.
While not as popular as it is in Europe, Nutella adoration is growing in the U.S. According to a report from The Daily Beast, U.S. sales of the spread tripled to $240 million between 2010-2014. Nutella fans even went as far as to try and create a World Nutella Day to honor the product. Thanks to Nutella’s success, the Ferrero family company that owns the spread is becoming more competitive in parts of the world that were previously dominated by the likes of Nabisco and Nestle.