Natural prickly pear drinks company, Cacto, has secured £15,000 funding from the University of West England. The funding, which is part of the University’s Entrepreneurial Futures Award, is distributed to businesses who show exceptional potential and traction with their ventures.
Having won the funding, from a pool of over 60 businesses, the brand will use the finance to develop Cacto’s rebrand and two new products, set to launch in February 2024.
The existing range of products, including three sparkling prickly pear drinks, and the two new SKUs set to be released in early 2024 is made from Sicilian prickly pear fruit and are all low sugar, low calorie and high electrolytes, particularly magnesium and potassium. Prickly pears are a great source of electrolytes, vitamins, calcium and antioxidants such as phenolic acid and Cacto drinks are made using UV, carbon and ceramic filtered water.
Cacto is founded by Sam Jukes, whose background in cricket, sport science and nutrition, led him to understand the holistic health benefits of prickly pear fruit and later develop the brand.
Sam said: “We are delighted to receive the funding from the University of West England’s Entrepreneurial Futures Award. As a young business, the funding is extremely valuable to the brand, allowing us to expand our range of drinks to offer further products that give consumers the opportunity to enjoy a health drink with a difference.
“Prickly pear fruit is not only delicious, but its immense health benefits extend beyond human health. With water deprivation being a growing environmental concern, prickly pears require hardly any water to grow. With over 70% of the world’s water used in agriculture, we are passionate about our greater mission as a business.
“We aim to donate a portion of our Net Profits to Water.org to contribute to those in need of clean drinking water. We are excited for 2024 and we are looking forward to continuing our journey to normalising the prickly pear and create health drinks which are readily available for all to enjoy.”