|Type||Sports drink, drink mix, energy drink|
|Manufacturer||Prime Hydration, LLC|
|Country of origin|
|Introduced||January 4, 2022|
Prime (stylized as PRIME) is a range of sports drinks, drink mixes, and energy drinks created and marketed by Prime Hydration, LLC. The range is promoted by YouTubers and internet personalities Logan Paul and KSI. The announcement and the release of the product in 2022 was followed by a social media hype associated with these social media personalities, who have tens of millions of followers combined. It was also promoted through mainstream sports sponsorship deals.
Prime Hydration, LLC is affiliated with Congo Brands, co-owned by American businessmen Max Clemons and Trey Steiger. In the United Kingdom, where the product was launched in June 2022, it was originally shipped from the United States, and is now manufactured by Refresco.
The Prime labeling is used on sports drinks, energy drinks, and drink mixes. The sports drinks, described by the manufacturer as "hydration drinks", are made up of 10 percent coconut water and contain electrolytes, B vitamins and BCAAs. The manufacturers state that this version of the product has zero added sugar or caffeine and has around 20 calories per bottle. It is sweetened with acesulfame potassium and sucralose, like many other sugar-free drinks.
Sports drink flavors are Blue Raspberry, Grape, Ice Pop, Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Meta Moon, Orange, Strawberry Watermelon, Tropical Punch, and a now discontinued limited-edition UK-exclusive "KSI" flavor, which is Orange Mango flavored. The energy drink, which was launched in 2023, contains 200 mg of caffeine. Prime Energy shares several flavors with its sports drink counterpart. Prime Energy flavors include Blue Raspberry, Ice Pop, Lemon Lime, Orange Mango, Strawberry Watermelon and Tropical Punch.
On January 4, 2022, YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI—with collectively more than 40 million YouTube subscribers and millions of followers on other platforms—announced on a live Instagram feed that they had founded a new drinks company known as Prime Hydration. Their involvement led to a social media hype around the product, which was followed by demand from school-age children, particularly teenage boys. According to the Evening Standard, the surge in demand caused high prices among online resellers, including an eBay listing offering twelve bottles for £400. Sky News reported that the release of the drink sparked "chaotic scenes" at Asda and Aldi supermarkets in the United Kingdom. A Financial Times article conveyed a London teacher's account of how children who only possessed used Prime bottles, filled with water, were "catapulted to higher status among their peers".
Prime was the sponsor for Timmy Hill's number 13 car for NASCAR. In their official statement they said it meant they have "access to talent and footballers which they do leverage in some of their marketing".
In July 2022, Premier League club Arsenal announced a joint marketing agreement with the company, with Prime becoming the official sports drink supplier for the club. In 2023, KSI had plans to make an Arsenal-flavoured bottle if they were to win the Premier League. However, after a loss to Nottingham Forest, the flavour was shelved and plans were cancelled.
In January 2023, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a joint marketing agreement with the company, with Prime becoming the official sports drink supplier for the mixed martial arts promotion company. In February 2023, Prime was promoted in a Super Bowl LVII commercial.
Mary McCarthy of The Independent, commenting on the way Prime was being marketed through social media, suggested that KSI and Logan Paul had undue influence on the product's main market—young boys—and that "cold, calculating big business" was working with individuals whose attitude towards women was questionable, and whose output was often misogynistic, aimed at boys "waiting to be told what to think".
Gordon Ramsay reviewed the drink on Heart radio, describing it as "like swallowing perfume", and giving it 0/10. Boxer Chris Eubank Jr also tried the drink saying "It's very sweet, I mean it says it's naturally flavoured. It doesn't taste bad, but it's not a natural flavour of drink".
See also: Energy drink § Regulations
Prime Energy has been banned in New Zealand. The drink has also been banned in schools in many countries, including some in Australia, Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Several Australian schools have instituted bans on Prime energy drinks, as a health risk to students due to its high caffeine levels. ABC News noted that the Food Standards Australia New Zealand legal limit for caffeine was 32 mg per 100 ml, while Prime contains around 56 mg per 100 ml. A sports dietician, who described the drink as an "addictive substance" went on to state that "giving a dose of caffeine to young children who've got … developing cognitive function is not a wise idea". ABC noted that the drink, on sale in Woolworths stores, carried a disclaimer stating that the drink "is not suitable for children under the age of 15, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision".
In March 2023, several schools in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia banned the drink. In April, several New South Wales schools followed.
In April 2023, a store in Perth controversially allowed the sale of the energy drink to minors.
On July 12, 2023, Health Canada issued a recall on various caffeinated and non-bilingual labeled drinks, including Prime. This decision came after many complaints of the high volume of caffeine in the product, which exceeds the maximum allowed in Canada. Furthermore, food products sold in Canada must have bilingual (English and French) packaging.
In Denmark, some retailers had begun parallel importing Prime beverages before an official launch of the product in the country. This led to newsbreaks as the parallel imported goods were not compliant with Danish regulations, due to the energy drink's caffeine concentration exceeded the approved limit. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration announced that it advised five retailers to pull the parallel imported product.
In June 2023, Prime launched officially in the country, kicking off in Salling Group supermarkets and Circle K convenience stores. For the product to be compliant and distributed in the country, the Prime Hydration product had been modified to not contain vitamin A, and the Prime Energy drinks were not subject to sale, as they contained the excessive amounts of caffeine.
On August 8, 2023, the Netherlands banned the sale of Prime due to its high caffeine content.
In New Zealand, it is illegal to sell the Prime Energy drink as it contains 579 mg of caffeine per litre, which is above the legal limit of 320 mg. Police Minister Ginny Andersen warned that businesses selling the product can face fines up to $100,000 NZD.
The drink was previously available on retail website Trade Me, but listings were removed following enquiries by media company Stuff.
In South Africa, The National Association of School Governing Bodies has called for the complete ban of Prime Hydration in schools and urging the government to investigate the drink to evaluate if it's responsible for behavioral changes in children.
School Governing Bodies (SGB) lawfully have the power to determine what pupils are allowed to bring into schools.— Department of Education Head Of Communications, Elijah Mhlanga
Across South Africa, schools have begun banning the drink due to health concerns over the high caffeine content.
On July 9, 2023, Senator Chuck Schumer urged the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate Prime due to its high caffeine content, and that it uses unclear marketing that targets young people which leads to their parents purchasing a "cauldron of caffeine" for them.
Launching on February 17, the new Mango flavor will be available exclusively through a Prime x KSI bundle on the official UK store page.
The wild popularity of Prime can be credited to KSI and Paul. KSI, a British rapper and boxer whose real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, has 24.1 million subscribers on YouTube, 11.1 million followers on TikTok and 12.7 million followers on Instagram. Meanwhile, YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul boasts 23.6 million subscribers on the video-sharing platform and 25.5 million followers on Instagram. Combined, these two men wield influence over nearly 100 million followers – more than the population of Vietnam.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)