France is in turmoil. Heavy discounts of Nutella have resulted in "scenes of violence" at supermarkets as shoppers vie to obtain as much of the chocolate and hazelnut spread as possible.
"They are like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand," one customer told French media. A member of staff at one Intermarché shop in central France told the regional newspaper Le Progrès: "We were trying to get in between the customers but they were pushing us."
Ferrero, manufacturers of the delicious spread, said it had no part in the supermarket's decision to discount Nutella and that it "regretted Thursday's violence."
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Police have arrested 24-year-old Derrick Gharabighi for punching a 78-year-old man who scolded Gharabighi for grabbing too many Nutella waffles from a sample cart at a Burbank, California Costco. Gharabighi has been charged with elder abuse and "inflicting great bodily harm."
From LA Times:
I'm not sure if Nutella is available in the California prison system, but if it isn't Gharabighi may have to go without any for a long time -- if convicted, he could receive up to 11 years in prison.
“The victim told Mr. Gharabighi that he wanted a sample and he shouldn’t take so many,” Sgt. Claudio Losacco said.
That’s when Gharabighi reportedly punched the man in the face. The man was hospitalized with a one-inch cut and swelling above his left eye, Guillen said.
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Lawyers for Ferrero, SpA (makers of the Nutella spread) have sent a legal threat to Sara Rosso, who founded and maintains the World Nutella Day site, where they promote Nutella through recipes, tweets, stories, and (obviously) an annual day devoted to the sugary gloop. Rosso has capitulated and will no longer promote their products for them.
Seven years after the first World Nutella Day in 2007, I never thought the idea of dedicating a day to come together for the love of a certain hazelnut spread would be embraced by so many people! I’ve seen the event grow from a few hundred food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of people Tweeting about it, pinning recipes on Pinterest, and posting their own contributions on Facebook! There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it.
The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.
A Goodbye to World Nutella Day?
(Thanks, Rebecca!) Read the rest