The chain faced a call for a boycott from the chief executive of the right-wing lobby group the Freedom Association, who claimed it was “sick” and that the Newcastle-based firm had insulted Christianity in a way it would “never dare” other religions.
The image reportedly appeared in a promotional image for the Greggs’ £24 advent calendar. It features behind each door a voucher for one of its treats.
The image shows the Three Wise Men around the crib with a sausage roll in place of Jesus.
A Greggs spokesperson said: “We’re really sorry to have caused any offence, this was never our intention.”
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Simon Richards, chief executive of the Freedom Association, called for a public protest.
He wrote on Twitter: “What cowards these people are: we all know that they would never dare insult other religions!
“They should donate every penny of their profits to @salvationarmyuk.”