Diners will be able to enjoy a takeaway vegan pizza after a big name brand introduced vegan cheese.

Papa John's, which has branches in Colchester, Braintree, Basildon and Southend, has launched the vegan cheese option after a petition.

The petition was by animal rights organisation Animal Aid and vegan blogging and news website Vegan Food UK.

Launched in October 2018, the petition amassed 28,993 signatures.

Pap John's said: “We were pleased to see the positive response to the recent vegan cheese alternative petition, as this is currently an area that we are developing, and hoping to roll out in the not-so-distant future.”

Animal Aid Campaign Manager, Tod Bradbury, said: "We are thrilled to see that Papa John's has reacted positively to our petition, and that they are looking to introduce a vegan cheese alternative very soon.

"We thank them for taking our comments - and those of almost 30,000 others on board.

"By adding vegan cheese to their menu, Papa John's will be showing that they are up to date with the fast-growing vegan movement.

"They will appeal to a much wider audience - be they vegans, those wanting to try vegan food or indeed those who have allergies to dairy products.

"We hope that Papa John's decision not only has a positive effect on their sales, but also encourages other pizza chains and restaurants who haven't yet introduced a vegan cheese to do so."

Vegan Food UK Co-Founder, Liam Day, said: "This news is not only positive for those who avoid dairy but still want to eat at familiar places, but also for the future of veganism.

"With such a huge company adding more vegan options, others are sure to follow their example."