Last week, chaotic scenes from the French supermarket Intermarche showed hordes of shoppers going ape over heavily discounted Nutella. The footage quickly flooded social media, basically forming the French answer to the Black Friday skirmishes that never fail to erupt at suburban Walmarts.
After the 70% markdown on spreadable chocolate sowed pandemonium, the French government is now taking steps to intervene, so events capable of diminishing France's "cultural reputation" don't happen again. As reported by Le Parisien, France's finance ministry is examining whether the discount imposed by Intermarche was legal.
According to The Local, there are strict laws in France regulating heavily discounted food. Although the protections might seem like they're meant to stop consumers from climbing over each other in a frenzy, they're actually supposed to keep companies from losing money. Authorities are currently probing the events in a number of ways, including the price Intermarche paid for its bevy of discounted Nutella.
France's Minister of Agriculture and Food, Stephane Travert, said the government should limit discounts to 34% of the price retailers pay for their goods. That, along with the elimination of buy-one-get-one free promotions, should ostensibly prevent people from rioting, she reasons.
But because this is France, the country's cultural and intellectual reputation has been dinged by the "Nutella Riots," as they came to be referenced online. Naturally, the intelligentsia weighed in, with sociologist Gérard Mermet telling Le Parisien that the events demonstrated "solidarity no longer had a place in France."
He went on, saying:
"I do not think we could have seen these scenes in Germany, where common sense exists more."
France should keep its head held high, though. On the brighter side, its citizens have now reached the social lows of American consumers, who are the most prolific of all.
[h/t The Takeout]