Tyson Foods Inc. Chief Executive Noel White said Wednesday the processed meats company plans to enter the "alternative protein" space on its own, in a "meaningful way," rather than just invest in an existing company. Speaking at the BMO Farm to Market Conference in New York, White said the company was an early investor in a couple alternative protein companies. "And rather than competing directly with somebody that we have an investment in, we decided that we would exit the investment and move into that category utilizing all the resources that we have available to them to us," White said, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. "So, from an insight standpoint, innovation standpoint, R&D, manufacturing, distribution, sales, we plan to take full advantage of all the resources at our disposal and move into the category in a meaningful way." He said an alternative meats business "certainly has the capability of being a $1 billion business for us" in time. The stock rose 1.1% in afternoon trade. It has soared 54.5% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has rallied 13.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 13.8%.