A steep discount on the ultra-popular hazelnut-chocolate spread at a French supermarket chain has highlighted that even for Nutella, marketing still follows the law of supply and demand. After Intermarché discounted its supply of Nutella by 70 percent nationwide, supermarket employees witnessed the sort of chaos normally reserved for dipping sauces.
Nutella manufacturer Ferrero was not responsible for the radical discount, which drew crowds as large as 200 before the stores opened.
“The company Ferrero wishes to recall that this promotion was decided unilaterally by the brand Intermarché,” a company spokesperson said in a statement, adding that Ferrero “deplores this operation and its consequences that create confusion and disappointment in the minds of consumers.”
After some customers came to blows, police were called to several stores to maintain order.
“They were like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand. It was horrible,” one Intermarché customer told French newspaper Le Progres.
One Intermarché manager theorized that consumers weren’t likely to benefit from the promotion to begin with. “I stored them at the registers to prevent dealers vampiring the promo,” Jean-Marie Daragon, a store director in Montbrison, told Le Parisien. “We hunt for the promophages, resellers who are sometimes grocers. Each time, these people hang pots in the store to benefit at the expense of other customers.”
“It’s more of a nuisance than anything else,” said an Intermarché employee to Le Progres. “There is no margin and besides it was not our usual clientele.”
It seems doubtful that either Intermarché or Nutella will benefit much from either the promotion or the press coverage, if the theories of Nutella scalpers are true.
The discount is set to continue through Saturday.
Serieux ??!! Tout ça pour du Nutella ?! 😮 #Emeute #Nutella pic.twitter.com/UoNTmK78eE
— •KENNY LE BON• (@kennyLebon) January 25, 2018