What is Prime and why is Logan Paul and KSI’s drink so expensive?

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called on regulators to investigate Prime Energy, the viral energy drink promoted by high-profile YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul.

The senior Democratic senator called on the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the drink, which contains 200mg of caffeine per can — twice the amount contained in a can of Red Bull, and the equivalent of six cans of Coke.

Mr Schumer said: “One of the summer’s hottest status symbols for kids is not an outfit, or a toy — it’s a beverage. But buyers and parents beware because it’s a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets.”

The drinks carry a warning stating that they are not recommended for under-18s. However, Mr Schumer said that Prime Energy was marketed “in near identical form” as a separate zero-caffeine sports drink also sold by the company.

The drink brand has become so popular, particularly with children and teenagers, that they are often being sold for 10 times their retail price on eBay. There is now even a tracker app that allows customers to verify stock before visiting stores.

So what is Prime and why are people willing to spend so much on it?

What is a Prime drink?

Prime is a range of sports drinks, drink mixes and energy drinks created and marketed by Prime Hydration, LLC. It was developed by American media personality Logan Paul in collaboration with YouTube rapper and boxer KSI in 2022.

The drink is available in both the UK (it was launched here in October 2022) and the US at the time of writing.

However, the BBC reported in June that some UK schools (and those in other countries such as the US, Australia, South Africa and Canada) were banning the drink. “Prime bottles can be a major distraction to lessons as children are removing themselves from their lessons to be seen drinking with the Prime branded bottles,” said one school, according to the BBC.

Is Prime an energy drink?

There are two kinds of Prime drinks: Prime Hydration and Prime Energy.

Prime Hydration is not an energy drink (it’s a sports drink) as it does not contain caffeine nor does it contain sugar. Instead, it is sweetened with aspartame.

However, Prime Energy obviously is an energy drink. It contains 200mg of caffeine. For comparison, one mug of instant coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine, according to the NHS.

Consumers should be aware of which version they are buying, particularly if it's for a child or teenager.

Prime Hydration – regular flavours

  • Ice Pop - red, white and blue bottle

  • Tropical Punch - red bottle

  • Blue Raspberry - turquoise bottle

  • Lemon Lime - lime green bottle

  • Meta Moon - white bottle

  • Grape - purple bottle

  • Orange - bright orange bottle

  • Strawberry Watermelon (United States only) - pink bottle

  • Lemonade (US only) – yellow bottle

Prime Energy flavours

  • Strawberry Watermelon – pink can

  • Blue Raspberry - turquoise can

  • Tropical Punch – bright red can

  • Orange Mango – bright orange can

  • Lemon Lime – lime green can

There is also the following limited-edition drink available in some stores.

  • KSI Limited Edition Orange Mango – black patterned limited edition

Where can you buy Prime drinks in the UK?

Asda was the first major UK supermarket to stock Prime in October, with the likes of Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi soon following. Prime is also reportedly now available in Tesco, as well as in local shops such as Wakey Wines.

It was previously available in Aldi’s special buy section for £1.99 and was limited to one per customer until stocks lasted due to extremely high demand.

The recommended retail price for a single bottle is £2 and a case of 12 online is listed at £24.99.

Why is Prime so expensive?

Due to the huge demand during its UK launch, it has been hard to get hold of the drink. This has pushed up prices.

On Twitter last year, KSI added that the beverage was being sold on the “black market”.

In a tweet, the YouTuber shared screenshots of bottles being sold for £15 on eBay and said: “This annoys me so much. We’re trying so hard to increase the supply as much as possible to try and combat the black-market selling.

“Me and Logan ain’t made any money from Prime. It’s all going back into the business to increase the supply. We’re trying people.”

Wakey Wines, an off-licence in Wakefield that has gone viral on TikTok, gained notoriety for allegedly selling Prime bottles for £100 each.

The shop’s owner, Mohammed Azar Nazir, posts clips of himself with his customers, boasting about how much they bought the drinks for.

Though it’s unclear whether people were genuinely buying Prime drinks for £100 a bottle, or whether it was purely a marketing stunt, stores elsewhere have reportedly been selling Prime at inflated prices.

One shop in Ayrshire, Scotland, in December began selling two flavours of the beverage for £12.50 — more than six times what Asda and Aldi were charging. Another shop in Surrey vowed to stop selling the energy drink, after customers complained about the £10 cost.

One shop assistant who works at the shop told Surrey Live in February: “Deliveroo adds on a 42 per cent mark-up. Sales were very slow via Deliveroo, due to the high prices. Customers in the store could buy the drink for £10 last month. Some customers ask and it’s very expensive to stock, I don’t want to lose custom.

“My friend gave me one or two boxes. They cost me £8.50 per bottle, so I sold them for £10 each. So I don’t sell them any more. Other stores are still selling them. If you look on Amazon and eBay, they cost £20. I heard one shop in Hersham is selling for £14 a bottle.”

Who are Logan Paul and KSI?

Logan Paul and KSI are both YouTubers and the creators of the Prime drinks.

American YouTuber Logan Paul has more than 23 million YouTube subscribers. In February, he apologised for his CryptoZoo venture, which has so far failed to materialise, just days before it emerged that his former pet pig Pearl was rescued by a sanctuary after being found abandoned.

Meanwhile, British YouTuber KSI has 24 million subscribers and is also a rapper. His real name is Olajide Olatunji, but fans know him as KSI, which stands for knowledge, strength, and integrity.

KSI is also a boxer and it is thought that he will soon fight his business partner’s brother, Jake Paul.