A supermarket chain's decision to slash the price of Nutella by 70% has sparked a shopping frenzy in France.

Video posted online and testimony from baffled supermarket workers showed long queues forming outside Intermarche supermarkets and chaotic scenes as bargain hunters stormed inside.

"People just rushed in, shoving everyone, breaking things. It was like an orgy," one employee in the northeastern town of Forbach told AFP.

"We were on the verge of calling the police."

Another employee in Revigny-sur-Ornain said it was no wonder there was a run on the shelves: "70% off? That's a steal."

When contacted by AFP, Intermarche apologised to its customers and said it had been "surprised" by the sheer demand.

The chain usually sells Nutella for €4.50 but with the discount jars were going for just €1.41.

People on social media reacted with much merriment over the furore.

"Seriously??!! All this just for Nutella" posted Kenny Le Bon on Twitter alongside a video of a crowd of shoppers scrambling over a rapidly depleting stand of jars.

"Was gonna get some Sunday. But I don't wanna die," added Ruthii Trudie (@ruthii_rawr).

Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, said the discount decision was taken "unilaterally" by Intermarche and risked creating "confusion and disappointment" for consumers.