Tyson Foods (TSN) - Get Report  shares were higher Thursday as it looks to take a bite out of Beyond Meat (BYND) - Get Report

The meat and poultry producer said Thursday it was set to release its first set of plant-based protein meat-like products, making it the largest U.S. meat producer to date to enter the growing alternative protein segment.

Initial products under its newly introduced "Raised & Rooted" banner will include plant-based nuggets as well as blended burgers made with a combination of beef and plants. In addition, the company's existing Aidells brand has launched Aidells Whole Blends sausage and meatballs, made with both chicken and plant-based ingredients.

Tyson Foods shares rose 2.11% to $83.62. The stock's year-to-date gain is about 60%.

The move comes amid strong demand for Beyond Meat's meat-less burgers and other plant-based protein food alternatives, which have sent that company's stock soaring following its recent initial public offering -- and a push among traditional food producers to adapt and compete.

Tyson, however, isn't jumping into the no-meat game whole hog.

"Today's consumers are seeking more protein options, so we're creating new products for the growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein," CEO Noel White said. "For us, this is about 'and' - not 'or.'"

"We remain firmly committed to our growing traditional meat business and expect to be a market leader in alternative protein, which is experiencing double-digit growth and could someday be a billion-dollar business for our company," he added.

Shares of Beyond Meat were up 0.9% to $142.61 after falling more than 4% in premarket trading.