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Fill your roots: Oliver Ross, seven, and brother Leo, eight PICTURE: KENNEDY

THERE were angry clashes yesterday as people vied to stock up on carrots.

But rather than a desperate craving for fresh veg, it was a must-have toy that drew crowds to Aldi stores.

Kevin the Carrot, who stars in the chain’s Christmas ads, is priced at just £3.99 or £19.99 for a giant version.

Stocking thriller: Satisfied customers

And such is demand for Kevin, his better half Katie and his evil enemy Pascal the Parsnip, some branches sold out in minutes after they went on sale for the first time this year.

Scuffles were said to have broken out at stores as customers raced to grab the cuddly figures off the shelves after queuing from 6am.

There was grumbling after a woman was seen leaving a branch in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, with three large Kevins and ‘loads’ of small ones.

Carrot crazy: Scenes in Skegness

And a mother from the Midlands claimed a woman had tried to rip a toy out of her young son’s hands.

Social media users were bemused, with Stuart Fergus tweeting: ‘Never seen anything like it before.

‘Old people getting knocked off their feet and kids pushed out the way.

‘Grown men sprinting down the aisles to try and be first for Kevin the carrot and his clan.’

Veg fund: Bids for a carrot on eBay

Helen Lee tweeted: ‘Cannot believe I have just seen people physically fighting and rowing over bloody kevin the carrot soft toys in Aldi. Like, come on guys, it’s a bloody stuffed carrot!!! What has the world come to?’

Some customers trying to buy the toys online also faced frustation.

Kirsty Naylor wrote that she had stayed up after working a 13-hour shift to put in her order — only for the Aldi website to keep crashing when she entered her payment details.

Bumper crop: Big and little Kevins

It also emerged that some Aldi staff were offering the toys on eBay before they were available in stores.

One seller promised to put one of the figures in the post and — asked how he could guarantee that — replied: ‘Because I work there.’ Carrots were selling for more than £100 on the auction site.

Aldi said high demand for the toys affected its website and it was sorry some shoppers at stores missed out.