Prime
Prime's logo
Various flavors of Prime Hydration
A selection of different flavors of Prime Hydration
TypeSports drink, drink mix, energy drink
ManufacturerPrime Hydration, LLC
DistributorCongo Brands
Country of origin 
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
IntroducedJanuary 4, 2022; 2 years ago (2022-01-04)
WebsiteUS Website
UK Website

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 produces a variety of energy drinks, sports drinks, and drink mixes containing varying levels of caffeine, electrolytes, and added micronutrients. Prime Energy drinks have generated controversy due to their marketing campaign, which has been criticized for targeting children and adolescents, in conjunction with their high concentration of caffeine. Several countries, jurisdictions, and primary and secondary schools have banned or restricted the drink due to its caffeine content exceeding legal limits, or otherwise being deemed unsafe for children.

Products

Prime Hydration, LLC is affiliated with Congo Brands, co-owned by American businessmen Max Clemons and Trey Steiger.[1] In the United Kingdom, where the product was launched in June 2022,[2][3] it was originally shipped from the United States, and is now manufactured by Refresco.[4]

The Prime labeling is used on energy drinks, sports drinks, and drink mixes.[5] The sports drinks, described by the manufacturer as "hydration drinks",[6] are made up of 10 percent coconut water and contain electrolytes, B vitamins and BCAAs.[7] The manufacturers state that this version of the product contains no added sugar, is caffeine-free, and has around 20 calories per bottle.[7] It is sweetened with acesulfame potassium and sucralose, like many other sugar-free drinks.[8]

Prime Hydration flavors are Blue Raspberry, Cherry Freeze,[9] Glowberry,[10] Grape, Ice Pop, Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Meta Moon, Orange, Strawberry Watermelon, Tropical Punch,[7] and a discontinued limited-edition UK-exclusive "KSI" flavor, which is orange and mango flavored.[11] The energy drink, which was launched in 2023,[12] contains 200 mg of caffeine. Prime Energy shares several flavors with its sports drink counterpart. Prime Energy flavors include Blue Raspberry, Ice Pop,[13] Lemon Lime, Orange Mango, Strawberry Watermelon, Original and Tropical Punch. The flavors of Prime Hydration+ Sticks are Cherry Freeze, Glowberry, Strawberry Watermelon, Lemonade, Ice Pop, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Punch, Lemon Lime and Meta Moon. There have been some special Prime Hydration flavors, like Ice Pop Fly, a collaboration with the Dodgers baseball team,[14] and Bayern, a collaboration with FC Bayern Munich.[15] In November 2023, two golden Lemonade Prime bottles were on display in London and New York and were worth $500,000 each.[16] There are other Limited Edition bottles such as the Ice Pop Prime Card Misfits bottles, Lemonade Venice Beach and Lemonade Piñata Colada[17]

Reception

On January 4, 2022, YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul ,[18] with collectively more than 40 million YouTube subscribers and millions of followers on other platforms,[19][20] announced on a live Instagram feed that they had founded a new drinks company known as Prime Hydration.[21] Their involvement led to a social media hype around the product,[8][20] which was followed by demand from school-age children, particularly teenage boys.[22][23][19] According to the Evening Standard, the surge in demand caused high prices among online resellers,[24] including an eBay listing offering twelve bottles for £400.[25] Sky News reported that the release of the drink sparked "chaotic scenes" at Asda[4] and Aldi supermarkets in the United Kingdom.[26][27] 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".[18]

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".[28]

Gordon Ramsay reviewed the drink on Heart radio, describing it as "like swallowing perfume", and giving it 0/10.[29] 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".[30]

Regulatory approval and legal status

See also: Energy drink § Regulations

Prime Energy has been banned in New Zealand.[31] The drink has also been banned in schools in many countries, including some in Australia, Canada,[32] South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.[33]

Australia

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".[34]

In March 2023, several schools in Queensland, Victoria[35] and Western Australia banned the drink.[36] In April, several New South Wales schools followed.[37]

In April 2023, a store in Perth controversially allowed the sale of PRIME Energy to minors.[38]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

On November 30, 2023, the Federal Sanitary Inspection of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina prohibited the import of 1,596 pieces of Prime Ice Pop Hydration due to laboratory tests showing that some specific ingredients could have a harmful effect on human health.[39]

Canada

On July 12, 2023, Health Canada issued a recall on various caffeinated and non-bilingual labeled drinks, including Prime.[40] 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 as both languages are official languages in Canada.[41]

Denmark

In Denmark, some retailers had begun parallel importing Prime beverages before an official launch of the product in the country.[42] 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.[43]

In June 2023, Prime launched officially in the country, kicking off in Salling Group supermarkets and Circle K convenience stores.[44] 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.[45]

Netherlands

On August 8, 2023, the Netherlands banned the sale of Prime due to its high caffeine content.[46]

New Zealand

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.[31]

Slovenia

On November 13, 2023, the Inspection by the Administration of Food Safety, Veterinary Medicine and Plant Protection of the Republic of Slovenia banned the sale of Prime energy drinks in Slovenia as they contain L-theanine, which is not allowed in non-alcoholic beverages. Prime Hydration may be freely sold.[47]

South Africa

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.[48]

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.[49]

United States

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.[50][51]

Advertising and publicity

Prime was the sponsor for Timmy Hill's number 13 MBM Motorsports car for one race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.[52] In their official statement they said it meant they have "access to talent and footballers which they do leverage in some of their marketing".[20]

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.[53][54][55] In 2023, KSI had plans to make an Arsenal-flavored bottle if they were to win the Premier League.[56] However, after a loss to Nottingham Forest, which led to rivals Manchester City winning the Premier League, the flavor was shelved and plans were cancelled.[57]

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.[58][59] Prime signed several athletes to sponsorships, including Alex Volkanovski, Israel Adesanya and Patrick Mahomes.[60][61] In February 2023, Prime was promoted in a Super Bowl LVII commercial.[62]

In July 2023, FC Barcelona signed a sponsorship agreement with Prime.[63]

In August 2023, FC Bayern Munich signed a sponsorship agreement with Prime.[64]

In November 2023, Toronto Maple Leafs player Auston Matthews signed a sponsorship agreement with Prime.[65]

References

  1. ^ Sommerlad, Joe (January 1, 2023). "Who actually owns Prime energy drinks?". The Independent. Archived from the original on January 5, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  2. ^ Butler, Sarah (October 28, 2022). "Prime market: YouTube star Logan Paul's £2 energy drink listed on eBay for £10k". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  3. ^ Louis, Nathan (June 17, 2022). "KSI returning to Watford today to launch drink with Logan Paul". Watford Observer. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Butler, Sarah (October 28, 2022). "Prime market: YouTube star Logan Paul's £2 energy drink listed on eBay for £10k". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 11, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  5. ^ "PRIME By Logan Paul x KSI". PRIME. Archived from the original on January 17, 2023. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  6. ^ Ross, Alex (March 4, 2023). "School in Bristol bans Prime drink over what's inside the bottles". Bristol World. National World. Archived from the original on March 31, 2023. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Sommerlad, Joe (December 31, 2022). "What is Prime energy drink and why is everyone so obsessed with it?". The Independent. Archived from the original on January 1, 2023. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  8. ^ a b DeLaire, Megan (December 21, 2022). "What to know about Prime Hydration, the expensive sports drink hyped on social media". CTVNews. Bell Media. Archived from the original on January 4, 2023. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  9. ^ "New Year, new flavor. Cherry Freeze setting the tone for 2024. 🥶". Instagram. Drink Prime. Retrieved December 31, 2023.
  10. ^ "Prime makes Glowberry hydration flavor official with unique bottle design". Dexerto. August 28, 2023.
  11. ^ "KSI reveals limited edition Prime Hydration flavor exclusive to the UK - Dexerto". Dexerto. February 14, 2023. Launching on February 17, the new Mango flavor will be available exclusively through a Prime x KSI bundle on the official UK store page.
  12. ^ Reid, Claire (January 4, 2023). "New Prime Energy drink unveiled that's coming to the UK very soon". LADbible. Archived from the original on January 5, 2023. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  13. ^ Wilson, Bee (May 31, 2023). "'Logan Paul reveals new Ice Pop Prime Energy flavor'". Dexerto. Archived from the original on May 30, 2023. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
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  19. ^ a b Ng, Kate (April 28, 2023). "It tastes foul. It's impossible to buy. But Prime has become a playground obsession". The Independent. Retrieved April 30, 2023. 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.
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  41. ^ Government of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (July 6, 2022). "Bilingual food labelling". inspection.canada.ca. Retrieved July 13, 2023.
  42. ^ Nygaard, Laura Rode (April 25, 2023). "Børn gik amok, og politiet måtte tilkaldes: Derfor er Prime-energidrikke så rasende populære". www.bt.dk (in Danish). Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  43. ^ "Sale of popular Prime energy drink 'not legal' in Denmark". The Local. May 2, 2023. Retrieved May 2, 2023.
  44. ^ Stack3d (June 3, 2023). "Conaxess Trade bringing Prime Hydration to Denmark and Norway". Stack3d. Retrieved June 17, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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  46. ^ "Drankje van influencers mag niet meer verkocht worden in Nederland". NOS Jeugdjournaal. August 8, 2023. Retrieved August 8, 2023.
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  48. ^ "SA schools join international counterparts in banning PRIME drink". May 14, 2023.
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  52. ^ Gutelle, Sam (May 23, 2022). "Logan Paul and KSI are getting some Prime advertising space on the NASCAR circuit". Tubefilter. Archived from the original on July 28, 2022. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  53. ^ "FC Barcelona signs partnership with isotonic drinks brand PRIME". July 1, 2023.
  54. ^ "Arsenal partners with PRIME hydration drink". July 27, 2022.
  55. ^ O'Brien, Sean (July 28, 2022). "DRINK IT IN Arsenal team up with Logan Paul and KSI – who was 'sick' of being a Gunners fan in 2019 – as YouTube boxer celebrates 'childhood dream' with hydration deal". Talksport. Archived from the original on July 28, 2022. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  56. ^ "Fans react as KSI promises to release special PRIME bottle if Arsenal win title". talkSPORT. May 9, 2023. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  57. ^ Weber, Tom (May 20, 2023). "PRIME bottlers: KSI's Arsenal drink shelved after Man City title win". FootballTransfers. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  58. ^ "Logan Paul and KSI laugh at Pimblett after signing Prime x UFC deal despite previous rivalry". February 2, 2023. Archived from the original on February 4, 2023. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  59. ^ "UFC ANNOUNCES GLOBAL MARKETING PARTNERSHIP WITH LOGAN PAUL AND KSI FOR THEIR PRIME BEVERAGE BRAND | UFC". www.ufc.com. January 31, 2023. Archived from the original on February 4, 2023. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  60. ^ "Logan Paul and KSI's PRIME Announces Patrick Mahomes as Its Newest Athlete". December 18, 2023.
  61. ^ "Logan Paul's PRIME Signs Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski As First Official Athletes". June 5, 2023.
  62. ^ Graham, Megan (February 12, 2023). "YouTube Stars Run Ad for Sports Drink Prime". WSJ. Archived from the original on February 13, 2023. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  63. ^ "FC Barcelona Set To Sign Deal With Prime Energy Drink: Reports". Forbes. June 24, 202.
  64. ^ "FC Bayern Munich announces PRIME Hydration as official isotonic partner". FC Bayern Munich - Official Website. August 10, 2023. Today, FC Bayern Munich announced its partnership with Logan Paul and KSI's popular beverage brand, PRIME. Founded by the YouTube stars in 2022, PRIME's flagship product, Hydration, a sports drink alternative, will be the official isotonic partner for the club of 33-time German champions.
  65. ^ Staff, TSN ca (November 1, 2023). "Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews signs endorsement deal with Prime sports drink". TSN. Retrieved February 10, 2024. During an appearance in Toronto this past weekend, the World Wrestling Entertainment-contracted Paul hinted that they had signed a Leafs player. 'We may have just signed someone from the Toronto Maple Leafs to Prime," Paul told fans at Yonge-Dundas Square. "I can't say who it is yet, but be on the lookout because we got another big signing.'