High street chains Greggs and Pret a Manger have been giving away their latest Christmas releases for free as part of the run-up to the festive period.

As the seasonal baked treats returned to stores yesterday, Greggs’ festive bakes and Pret’s Christmas lines were offered to the public free of charge.

Greggs gave shoppers in eight cities -  including Newcastle, Cardiff, Glasgow and London - the chance to get their hands on the festive bake, which contains chicken breast, sage & onion stuffing and sweetcure bacon in creamy sage and cranberry sauce. 

Greggs’ festive menu for this year includes sweet mince pies, turkey, bacon & cranberry roll, turkey and honey roast ham baguette, and a Christmas lunch toastie.

Pret handed out two choices from its Christmas menu, including its Christmas Lunch and Veggie Christmas Lunch sandwiches, which were around 5,000 shops in total around the UK.

Caroline Hirst, manager of the Greggs Tyneside store, said customers had been asking about the bakes for a few months and that it was no surprise to her they were snapped up within the first five minutes.

“People get so excited about them,” she told Chronicle Live. “Customers have been coming in since September asking about them. They’ve become a Christmas thing for many people.”

The seasonal products will be on sale at Greggs and Pret a Manger stores until after Christmas.

Pret has been heavily investing in the vegetarian market and has announced that its temporary vegetarian pop-up in London will become permanent.