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A massive discount on popular spread Nutella / nyu tɛl ə / sparked riots in supermarkets across France.
In January, supermarket chain Intermarché [uh-te-mah-SHEE] offered a 70% discount on 950-gram jars of Nutella. As a result, thousands of buyers stormed into various branches of the supermarket to take advantage of the Nutella jars priced at €1.40 ($1.75), which previously cost €4.50 ($5.70).
Situations at supermarkets quickly turned into riots as shoppers became desperate to get their share of Nutella. The police were called to intervene when several shoppers started to scuffle and push each other.
Because chaos caused by store sales is rare in France, many did not expect such hysterical behavior from the customers. A French food expert analyzed the issue and explained that the French people’s general fondness for confectionery like chocolate spreads is a possible contributor to the riots. In fact, locals consume around 75,000 metric tons of Nutella, which is frequently paired with croissants / krəˈsɑnts / and baguettes / bæˈgɛts /, every year.
The riots at the Intermarché branches are comparable to the chaos that usually occurs during Black Friday sales in the United States. The term Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving. As it is the busiest shopping day of the year, shoppers flock to malls to take advantage of holiday discounts.
During a 2011 Black Friday sale at a Walmart branch in Los Angeles, a woman fired pepper spray into a crowd so she could get her hands on a discounted Xbox. This resulted in minor injuries among 20 shoppers. However, the woman reasoned that she only used the pepper spray as a defense against shoppers who tried to attack her children for the Xbox.