A discount on Nutella triggered chaos in French supermarkets, with police called to intervene as shoppers fought over jars of the chocolate and hazelnut spread.

Intermarché supermarkets offered a 70% discount on the popular spread, bringing the price of 950g jars down from €4.50 to €1.40.

The promotion caused customers to fight and push one another to get their hands on the bargain jars of Nutella.

“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.”

The disturbances took place in Intermarché supermarkets all over the France. One supermarket near Toulouse even restricted the sale of Nutella to one per person.

Footage of shoppers pushing each other and swarming through the store, resembling the Black Friday riots, has been posted on social media, including Twitter.

Iceland in UK took an opportunity to use the situation to promote its low-price Nutella spread by tweeting: ‘*hides our cheap Nutella*’ with a link to their website.

Intermarché said they regretted Thursday’s violence, but noted that the discount had been unilaterally decided by Intermarché. The chaos still continues as shoppers try and find any unsold jars.

Nutella is owned by Ferrero, and was first introduced in 1965 although it was created in the 1940s in the Piedmont region of Italy, which is famed for its hazelnuts.

It is a popular spread among children and adults across the world, it is estimated that 356 million kg of Nutella is consumed every year in 160 countries around the world.