When French supermarket group Intermarché announced a 70% discount on Nutella in January last year, it sparked actual riots in stores with customers desperate to get their hands on the heavily discounted spread.
But it appears it wasn’t just Nutella-crazed shoppers who got themselves into hot water over the ‘super promotion’.
The enormous discount also sparked a huge retail war with Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, who claimed they’d only authorised a maximum discount of 25% on the spread and accused the supermarket chain of selling the product at a loss.
It’s not the first time that Intermarché has gone head-to-head with big name brands over their huge reductions - with Pampers nappies and Perrier sparkling water joining Ferrero in their anger over the chain’s massive discounts.
Well it’s now been revealed that the supermarket group has copped a massive $600k fine over the sale, after French fraud agency La Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRG) launched an investigation into the markdown scandal.
They found that Intermarché had indeed contravened French rules on discounts, which limit the amount that supermarkets can drop prices to stop situations in which manufacturers, farmers and producers in fact lose money on their goods.
In a nutshell, supermarkets in France are not allowed to discount products past the point at where producers would no longer be paid - they’re also banned from ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions.
As a result, the authority ordered Intermarché to pay well over half a million dollars in fines because of the sale. Guess that means we shouldn’t expect 70% off on Nutella any time soon?!