true fruits like balls. Namely, balls on companies that show them. Companies that do not put on a fake act just to please the masses. Companies that stick to their views and show backbone, because that shows courage. We believe that this attitude is worthy of distinction and have created the “Balls of Steel” award.


The “Balls of Steel” award symbolically stands for courage – for men and women alike! This award is given to companies, private persons, or public persons (male or female!), who prove their steadfastness & their courage. This 3.7 kg, hand-polished, stainless steel prize is an original impression of true fruit founder and CEO Marco Knaufs Balls.

#1 Sodastream Fight against the plastic lobby

Sodastream receives the award for excellent courage and steadfastness during their advertising campaign „shame or glory“.

Balls for Bad Soden

Sodastream, the market leader for soda-making machines with its German headquarters in Bad Soden, antagonised the entire plastic lobby with its “Shame or Glory” anti-plastic-bottle campaign in 2016 and found itself facing several injunction suits from large international corporations such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Danone. But instead of giving in, Sodastream stood against the plastic lobby alone and – as the supposed David to their Goliath – did not let themselves be silenced by them. This attitude deserves our respect, which we honour by granting our “Balls of Steel” award.

“Shame or glory”
stumbling block

In a TV commercial, a film assistant had to do a “walk of shame” because he had purchased plastic bottles for Game of Thrones star Thor Björnsson. He hardly had the plastic bottles in his hand at the supermarket when he had to run the gauntlet from the supermarket to the set of the TV series. While doing so, the bells of shame continued ringing behind him. Having arrived at the set, Thor gave him a sermon on how bad & harmful plastic bottles are. Click here for the video.


“We asked ourselves why isn’t there a prize that awards courage”, said Marco Knauf, founder and CEO of true fruits.

The idea

Over the past 10 years, we have done things that we personally thought were good. And, of course, anyone who takes his own path will rub people up the wrong way here and there. We have stayed true to ourselves – even when we encountered resistance. We would rather not be fancied by some, but “celebrated” by others instead, because “everyone’s darling is everyone’s arsehole”. This attitude often requires so-called “balls of steel”.


In 2006, we were the first ones that brought smoothies to the German market and, from the onset, we needed to set ourselves apart. Apart from companies with a lot of cash. How did we achieve that? We followed the “true fruits – no tricks” philosophy from the start. Although—or precisely because—we were inexperienced, we did not listen to expert advice, but rather our gut feeling, and we chose a different path. How? See for yourself here. Today we are the market leaders.

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