Tag Archives: beverage

Jul 19

Homegrown concept to turn Prickly Pear fruit into Water goes Global

By: FOX 10 Arizona

What started out as an idea is now turning into a bustling worldwide business for one Valley man.

“Prickly Pear is indigenous to Arizona,” said Tom Zummo, CEO of True Nopal Cactus Water. “We’re surrounded by it.”

Zummo’s idea was to turn Prickly Pear cactus into bottled water. He’s now joined forces with one of the biggest beverage distributors in the world. The Prickly Pear was something Zummo never really thought much of, until one day, he had an idea.

“It was just something that came to me while I was on my run through Scottsdale,” said Zummo. He wondered if he could take the Prickly Pear fruit, and create a drink out of it. This was back in 2013, when coconut water and other beverages like it were all the rage.

“I started doing some research to see what kind of benefits were behind the Prickly Pear, and it was amazing,” said Zummo. He found the juice was sweet, had less sugar than coconut water, and was packed with Vitamin C and electrolytes.

Zummo decided to start a business selling the water, and that’s when Zummo said True Nopal Cactus Water was born. The Prickly Pear fruit is harvested from the Sonoran Desert, pressed, processed and then bottled.

In the four years since Zummo started, the business has been growing. He recently signed a deal with Suntory, one of the largest beverage distributors in the world.

“The brand is like one of my children,” said Zummo. “You want to see your children excel and do magnificent things in their life, and my vision was to always see this be a global brand.”

True Nopal will now be distributed to stores around the globe

Jun 22

Coconut water paves the way for Scottsdale company selling Cactus Water

By: Justin Pazera

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The clocks in Tom Zummo’s office are set to London, Tokyo and Scottsdale and you really could say timing has been everything to his business.

“Coconut water did pave the way for us to exist,” said Zummo, the owner of True Nopal. “It gave consumers a glimpse into plant waters.”

So think coconut water but not. Instead, the key ingredient in True Nopal is the prickly pear cactus.

“I went on a quest for something that tastes good that has the same benefits with lower calories and lower sugar,” said Zummo.

He says True Nopal water has half the sugar and calories compared to some coconut waters and it’s also high in antioxidants. It took them a while to come up with this particular recipe but it’s been a win with customers.

“We added agave. We added sugar and realized that we wanted to keep it true to form and we just left it in its original state,” said Zummo.

Packaging is done in other parts of the country but the headquarters is still in Scottsdale. Shipments for Amazon are also done right here in the Valley.

True Nopal is available on Amazon and also in local Fry’s, Whole Foods, AJ’s Fine Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocers.

Jul 11

Fancy Water Taste Test

NICK HARRIS-FRY 7 JUL 2016
Left to right: What A Melon, Simplee Aloe, True Nopal Cactus Water, Vita Coco Coconut Water, Tree WaterTrue Nopal Cactus Water

Today’s water is so much more than a tasteless fusion of hydrogen and oxygen, with almost every kind of plant incorporated into special brands of H2O.

The claims these newfangled waters make are grand ones, especially when you consider that old-fashioned regular water is pretty good in terms of hydration and contains no calories. Coach decided to see if it really is time to give up on plain tap.

RECOMMENDED: 20 Things You Should Know About Water

What A Melon

Why: Watermelon water, with the pips handily removed. Like cactus water [below] it promises to hydrate you naturally, and also contains lycopene, a handy antioxidant primarily found in red fruit and veg. £2, available at Planet Organic and Wholefoods. whatamelonwater.com

The Coach says: Watermelons are the king of summer fruits, so having a drink containing their tasty essence minus the damnable pips is a real treat for sunny days.

Simplee Aloe

Why: Aloe Vera extract has apparently been drunk for 5,000 years, with benefits mooted to include healthier skin and an immune system boost. £1.69, available at Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose. simpleealoe.com

The Coach says: Simplee Aloe comes in two flavours – grape & lemon and apple & mango – both of which are eminently acceptable, even if it feels a bit of a shame that neither reveal the mysterious taste of aloe.

True Nopal Cactus Water

Why: This prickly pear beverage promises to make you feel the power of the cactus. Fortunately that doesn’t mean sticking spines down your throat, but instead providing natural hydration with no added sugars. Like water. £1.69, available at Boots and Waitrose. truenopal.com

The Coach says: A sweet, slightly tropical taste. Coach did not feel the power of the cactus, which was both a disappointment and a relief, but True Nopal’s offering is undoubtedly refreshing.

Vita Coco Coconut Water

Why: The doyenne of fancy H2O, coconut water’s reputation is built on the claim it rehydrates you better than normal water due to the dose of vitamins and minerals it contains. That and the rumour it’ll help ease hangovers. £1.69, available at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. vitacoco.com/uk

The Coach says: An acquired taste. It’s a tad coconutty, not as much as you’d expect, and despite seeming pretty diluted at first, the cloying sweetness starts to grate halfway though the carton.

Tree Water

Why: Bottled sap from birch, maple and bamboo trees that promises plenty of natural nutrients. And the birch water is claimed to taste clean. Mmm… clean. £2.50, available at Boots, Planet Organic and Waitrose. sibberi.com

The Coach says: The birch water does taste clean, in that it doesn’t taste of much. The maple sap is a little sweeter, while the bamboo water was a tad woody. Take your choice: clean, sweet or woody.

Jun 30

True Nopal Cactus Water Distribution Continues to Accelerate at a Rapid Rate

Scottsdale Arizona – (June 30, 2016) – True Nopal the number one selling cactus water brand and innovator of the category announced today that its distribution continues to accelerate at a rapid rate. Recent new store placement includes, Albertsons/Safeway, Stop & Shop, Giant, AJ’s, PCC, New Leaf, Winn Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter, Tom Thumb, Tops, Fresh Vitamins & Neighborhood Market.
Tom Zummo, CEO and Founder, stated, “Today’s consumers are extremely savvy, not only are they seeking a great tasting beverage they are also looking for something that is low in calories, low in sugar and provides other benefits. With less than half the calories and sugar as other plant waters, while still providing electrolytes, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants, True Nopal cactus water hits all of the marks.” He then went on to say, “Although a cactus may not demand much water to grow, consumers are demanding cactus water and this is precisely what is fueling our growth both domestically and internationally.”
For more information or to find a local retailer near you, readers can visit www.truenopal.com

Feb 2

How’s Your Super Bowl Hangover? Prickly Pear Water Could Help

By David Hammond

Did you enjoy the Super Bowl, yesterday? Did you over-indulge in food, drink, and mindless cheering, uncontrollable and highly voluble hatred of the opponents, senseless and undeserved identification with the victors?

That’s nice.

I’ve heard that when one drinks too much, one can expect a headache the next day. It’s called a “hangover,” and it’s likely that some of you reading this may be experiencing one right now (as well as guilt over all the things you ate and drank, all the things you said to your family and friends during the intoxicated violence of game day, perhaps even a pang of guilt over all the people you injured — physical and emotionally – while throwing things around and generally being a sports-crazed mania).

Last week, I was sent a bottle of True Nopal, the water of the prickly pear, which is the oblong fruit of the nopal cactus. The prickly pear is green, with armadillo-like studs on its skin, and an interior that’s richly red. In Spanish, it’s called “Tuna,” and although I’ve enjoyed the water of the nopal cactus paddles, I’ve never had the water of the prickly pear.

According to the literature, “The prickly pear cactus is the only known plant to contain all 24 known betalain antioxidants, which are known to detoxify the body at the cellular level.”

Nopal also contains high levels of vitamins A,C, and K and loads of amino acids [http://www.naturalhealth-solutions.net/healthy-eating/nopal-the-magic-in-the-cactus-plant].

True Nopal is much less sweet than other fruit waters you might know, with a lightly flowery nose and beautiful pinkish-red color. Like many Mexican aguas fresca, it is very refreshing all by itself, and because it’s less sweet, a good accompaniment to foods.

So after your highly toxic Super Bowl Sunday – filled with fried food and rage and booze – consider detoxifying yourself with the water of the prickly pear.

I like mixing True Nopal 4:1 with Sauza 901 Tequila: 2 birds/1 stone, hair of the dog, etc.

You can find out more about this beverage at their site: click here.

Jan 14

bon appetit: 7 strange flavored waters to try – or not

January 14, 2015 /
Written by Michael Y. Park

If you ever felt like a sap for paying $4 for a bottle of flavored water, you can now buy actual maple water to drive the point home. Or you can pick out a flavored water based on color, not taste. And why not get your dog in on the fad, too? There’s a flavored water just for Fido.

For years now, flavored waters have been the big thing in rehydration, with companies touting their vegetable- and fruit-infused H2O as “phytonutrient”-packed, antioxidant-filled, electrolyte-crammed ambrosias that’ll have you fighting off colds, embracing Mother Nature, and feeling like a five-year-old again. Cucumber water and lemon water have gone from being the mainstays of country clubs to coming in plastic bottles decorated with skinny-dipping slices. And try to tally up the number of people you know who’ve adopted coconut water as their go-to refreshment last couple years. (Or just name the celebrities who quaff the stuff, like Rihanna, Madonna, and Demi Moore.)

But it gets weirder from there. Just take a gander ….

Cactus Water
If it works for camels and for cartoon characters lost in the desert, why wouldn’t it work as a bottled drink? The folks at True Nopal took the Nopal cactus (i.e. prickly pear) and have marketed as a lower-calorie, lower-sugar competitor to, yes, coconut water, and it’s got a fruity taste that might appeal to an even wider market. And no needles!

Maple Water
Canadian-based Seva describes maple water as “pure maple sap, the clear and nourishing water the flows naturally out of maple trees each spring. … It’s like drinking maple water right from the tree!” Except, we hope, the part about picking out flakes of tree bark from your lips.

Bacon-Infused Water
Yes, of course someone came up with bacon-infused water, because the “bacon thing” is never going to end. In this case, the bacon flavoring comes in the form of effervescent tablets you added to your water to create a bubbly, pork-flavored drink. (You could probably recreate the effect by dropping a couple slices of bacon into your seltzer water.) Thankfully, these tablets no longer seem to be available.

Chocolate-Mint Water
Though Metromint’s “chocolatemint” flavor has been around for a while now, it’s still a puzzler. Is it meant to appeal to chocolate lovers who don’t actually love chocolate enough to actually, y’know, eat chocolate or drink cocoa? To supposed chocoholics who don’t want that luscious chocolate-y smoothness that’s such an integral part of the chocolate experience? Is it a scientific experiment about whether certain flavors are still appealing if you strip away their normal visual and textural cues? At least we can rest easy knowing the “guilt-free anytime delight” was made with “real mint” grown in Washington’s Yakima Valley, though the website makes no mention of the chocolate part of the equation.

Flavored Water for Dogs
You’ve probably already figured out that dog-food commercials are meant to appeal to human owners’ appetites and not canines (we don’t care how smart your dog is, he couldn’t care less whether or not his canned meal resembles beef stew or chicken pot pie). So you won’t be surprised to know that there’s a line of flavored waters for dogs. K9 Water comes in chicken, beef, liver, and lamb, (no, there’s no toilet-water flavor), and according to the California-based company that makes it, it’s “rebarkably refreshing™.” Because dogs love puns, too.

Jan 5

life & style magazine star swap says “swap coconut water for cactus water.”

Life & style magazine star swap says “swap coconut water for cactus water.” Move over, coconut! True nopal cactus water is not only a super-hydrating nutrient powerhouse, it contains about half the sugar and calories of coconut water at just 24 calories a glass.

Dec 18

beverage world magazine names true nopal cactus water hot innovative and trendsetting beverage of 2014

True Nopal, a new player in the plant water category, has taken the industry by storm this year. Beverage World Magazine has included them in their 2014 HIT list that ran in the December issue where they discuss the newest drinks to revolutionize the space that coconut water paved.

With Beverage World being an industry opinion leader read by important decision makers who influence the latest and hottest trends in the market, the accolade is helping True Nopal pick up even more steam, paving the way for other beverage products that are packed with nutrients.

“We are honored to be included in Beverage World’s 2014 HIT list,” said Tom Zummo, Chief Executive Officer of True Nopal Cactus Water. “We are so humbled that others see in True Nopal what we have seen since day one. We wanted to produce a drink that not only tasted good but that was also good for you and we couldn’t be happier that other people are recognizing this as well.”

“Only the savviest of retailers have the foresight to see potential in products the public is starting to embrace,” Zummo continued. “And after just six months on the shelves, we are now sold in over 3,000 retailers nationwide.”

Dec 14

true nopal cactus water on the shelf in whole foods

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — True Me Brands LLC announced today that Whole Foods Market has brought in True Nopal Cactus Water, the delicious and hydrating new beverage derived from the prickly pear cactus. With half the calories and sugar of coconut water, the sought after drink will be available to the health-savvy early adopters who frequent their Southern Division stores.

Health and nutrition experts credit True Nopal as an excellent source of hydration. 100% natural, inherently sweet and sodium-free, the prickly pear cactus is the only plant in the world to contain all 24 boosting betalain antioxidants, which makes True Nopal an excellent source of those nutrients. It packs such a hydrating punch that studies show it can even aid in rebounding from a hangover.

“It takes a certain savoir-faire to cut through the clutter in today’s crowded health market,” said Tom Zummo, Chief Executive Officer of True Nopal Cactus Water. “We’ve made landing the Whole Foods account a priority for that reason. Their customer is our customer – a knowledgeable and informed head of household who makes no compromises for their own and their families’ well-being.”

True Me Brands, LLC, True Nopal’s parent company and the pioneer of the cactus water category, has enjoyed rapid growth and a slew of national distribution commitments. In just a matter of months, the company has catapulted True Nopal onto the shelves of more than 3,000 stores across the country.

True Nopal is available at Whole Foods in both 1 liter and 500 mL sizes. The drink is all natural and contains no added sugars, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, no GMOs, it is gluten-free and both vegan and Kosher certified.

Dec 12

7 food trends to watch in 2015

We can’t really remember what life was like before bone broth (maybe one of the oldest food concepts on the planet) somehow took over the world in 2014. Broth joins a long line of trendy health foods, some of which stick around (chia seeds, kale, quinoa) some of which cool off (agave, soy milk, egg whites). Here are seven foods we expect to be seeing a lot more of in the new year.

1. The New Coconut Water(s)
Coconut water has dominated the market for quite some time, but lately we have been seeing a few new waters on the scene, namely, maple, cactus and watermelon. They are all natural forms of hydration with no added sugars and boast the same kind of benefits as coconut water — vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes and more.

2. Sprouted Grains
Sprouted grains and flours have been around in the health food community for some time, with things like ezekiel bread bringing the concept into a wider consciousness. But we see even bigger things happening in 2015, with news of Kashi announcing the launch of a sprouted grain cereal early next year and rumors of King Arthur flour widening their range of spouted grain flours. Next big move we’re hoping for: sprouted grain bagels at the local bodega.

3. Activated Charcoal
Chinese and Ayuredic medicine has long used activated charcoal for intestinal health and to neutralize toxins. In Western medicine it’s often used in emergency situations to keep certain kinds of poison from entering the body through the stomach and as a remedy for gastric issues and upset stomach. Lately, we’ve been seeing activated charcoal going a lot more mainstream, from vitamins, marketed as a digestive aid, to an ingredient in cold-pressed juice, from Activated Greens at NYC’s Juice Generation to Charcoal Lemonade at LA’s Juice Served Here.

4. Fermented Foods
We’ve talked before about the benefits of fermented foods, particularly that it can help balance your microbiome, lift your mood, help your skin and brain function and encourage good bacteria for a healthy gut. In addition to kimchi, there are a few fermented foods that you probably have already tried but weren’t aware they were so good for you, from pickles to sauerkraut and more. While these aren’t new, much like bone broth, we can see these fermented foods picking up steam in the new year for their increasingly recognized health benefits. There’s a lot of versatility here, especially in the pickle department. Ferment your own food in style, with these fermentation pots we included in our recent healthy foodie gift guide.

5. Amaranth
Could amaranth be the new quinoa? An ancient grain from the high valleys of the Andes (like quinoa), amaranth is a nutritious and versatile addition to the everyday pantry. You can cook it alone for savory meals (it has the consistency of grits or porridge) and top it with vegetables and greens like you would quinoa. Additionally, amaranth pops like popcorn to make rice cakes and other things, like these Golden Amaranth Superfood Bars.

6. Cabbage
Kale will always be our jam, but it’s time to spotlight another cruciferous vegetable with equally notable health benefits: cabbage. Full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and more and low in calories, in both red and green varieties, you can use in it pretty much all ways you use kale. In fact, we have been seeing it pop up on restaurant menus in place of kale recently, maybe because kale has gotten more and more expensive as it’s popularity and demand grow. In addition to similar health benefits and lower price, cabbage may gain some traction in the new year as it’s the main ingredient in two of the most popular fermented foods: sauerkraut and kimchi. Incidentally, cabbage makes great chips.

7. Yacon Syrup
Agave, raw honey, xylitol, maple syrup, coconut sugar — the list of alternative sweeteners is vast, as people try and find a better alternative to refined sugars. There’s been some particular attention paid recently to yacon syrup. Derived from the yacon root, the syrup has a caramel/molasses taste and texture. In addition to sweetening without the refined sugar, the benefits of yacon have been noted as helping manage metabolism and weight loss. Maybe not tomorrow, but sometime in the near future, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some “sweetened with yacon” labels popping up.