What to know about Prime, the Logan Paul drink a senator wants to investigate

PRIME energy drinks are displayed for sale on the shelves of a Walmart Supercenter on July 10, 2023 in Austin, Texas. US Senator Chuck Schumer has called on the FDA to investigate whether the drinks pose any health risks to children.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Enlaces Patrocinados:


hide caption

toggle caption on/off

Brandon Bell/Getty Images


PRIME energy drinks are displayed for sale on the shelves of a Walmart Supercenter on July 10, 2023 in Austin, Texas. US Senator Chuck Schumer has called on the FDA to investigate whether the drinks pose any health risks to children.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

It tastes fruity, appears in TikTok videos and, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, poses a serious health risk to American teenagers.

Prime energy drinks (stylized by the company as PRIME), a growing status symbol among Gen Z’ers, are facing backlash this week after Schumer, DN.Y., called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate on the products, stating that it contained more caffeine than was safe for children to consume.

Here’s what to know about the hype and the risks.

What is Primo?

The energy drink is one of three products sold by Prime, a brand owned by Louisville-based Congo Brands and promoted by YouTubers Logan Paul and Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, who goes by the name KSI.

Prime bills itself as a purveyor of sports hydration, filling «the void where good taste meets function» and helping to «refresh, replenish and refuel.»

Two of its products are geared towards post-workout recovery, offering Gatorade-style servings of electrolytes and vitamins. But the third product promises «energy,» which, according to the ingredients label, comes in the form of caffeine, a whopping 200 mg per 12-ounce can.

A small notice on the back of the product warns that it is «not recommended» for those under the age of 18 or for «people sensitive to caffeine».

But in terms of the brand’s online marketing, much of which takes the form of social media posts, there isn’t much visual distinction between Prime’s recovery drink and its energy drinks.

Both come in brightly colored packaging, with summer flavors like «Ice Pop» and «Tropical Punch.» Both products are available in the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA, retailing for approx $2.50 per bottle but that’s if you can find them.

Why is Prime so popular?

Fans react as KSI and Logan Paul arrive to promote an energy drink on an open-top bus, en route to London in June 2022.

Scott Garfitt/AP


hide caption

toggle caption on/off

Scott Garfitt/AP


Fans react as KSI and Logan Paul arrive to promote an energy drink on an open-top bus, en route to London in June 2022.

Scott Garfitt/AP

Since the brand’s launch in 2022, Prime products have gained a cult following, either flying drinks off shelves in the UK or selling them for an astronomical mark-up prices.

Lucky Instagrammers share images of empty prime bottles lined up like 2023’s equivalent of a premium kid’s beanie collection, but for boisterous teenage males.

When Prime launched in Australia earlier this year, hundreds of hopeful customers flocked to the street, clamoring for a free sample.

Prime has been named the official sports drink of the Los Angeles Dodgers, London Arsenal and the UFC. FC Barcelona is also said to be exploring a contract with Prime to replace its relationship with Gatorade.

«This goes far beyond the value of the drink,» says David Craig, a professor of social media communications at the University of Southern California.

For Prime drinkers, holding a can is «a status symbol,» Craig told NPR. «It’s a symbol of belonging to a fan club, a sign of belonging to that community.»

And that community is one that has been built and sustained by the faces behind the brand: Paul and KSI.

Who are Logan Paul and KSI?

28-year-old Paul and 30-year-old KSI are primarily known for their YouTube channels, where, combined, they have more than 40 million followers. And if the crowds of fans showing up in real life are any indication, a large proportion of those followers are teenage males.

Even before Prime hit the scene, Paul faced questions about pandering to a young audience, especially as the controversy proved pivotal to his viral success. He has faced backlash for saying he would «only be gay for a month,» for tasering dead rats and for posting a video of a dead body, a man who had taken his own life.

“The appeal is this kind of perpetual youth and bad-boy flagrance,” says Craig. «It’s a kind of behavior trapped in adolescence that they’ve managed to sustain for over a decade.»

Content creators KSI and Logan Paul, pictured here during a press conference in Los Angeles in September 2019, were rivals before teaming up on business ventures like Prime.

Michael Tran/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption on/off

Michael Tran/Getty Images


Content creators KSI and Logan Paul, pictured here during a press conference in Los Angeles in September 2019, were rivals before teaming up on business ventures like Prime.

Michael Tran/Getty Images

And it’s profitable, especially when Paul and KSI team up.

Before they were business partners, the two were rivals, trading trash talk on each other’s platforms until they met in real life for a boxing match. The fight ended in a majority draw (two judges ruled the pair tied; a third scored in favor of KSI).

They fought again in 2019, gaining widespread national political attention after Paul said KSI was «on her fifth abortion,» bringing weight from both sides of the abortion movement.

That second fight earned each man no less than $900,000, Forbes reported.

Fast forward to 2022 and the launch of Prime has earned $250 million in sales, according to The Washington Post.

Although Prime is owned by Congo Brands, Paul and KSI position themselves as founders and decision makers, crediting themselves with building the Prime empire.

Why does Schumer want Prime investigated?

On Sunday, Schumer held a press conference asking the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate Prime’s energy drink, calling it a «cauldron of caffeine» that posed «serious health problems» for children.

Schumer described his announcement as in part a public service warning to parents, directly targeting how the product has been represented online.

«Many parents may have never heard of it, but their children have,» Schumer said. «That’s because Prime is engaged in a large advertising campaign aimed at children.»

Each 12-ounce can of Prime Energy equals two cups of coffee or about six cans of Coke. The 200mg of caffeine is significantly higher than other energy drink brands, including Red Bull (80mg per 8.4oz can) and Monster (160mg per 16oz can).

Prime also sells caffeine-free beverages billed as sports recovery drinks.

Scott Garfitt/AP


hide caption

toggle caption on/off

Scott Garfitt/AP


Prime also sells caffeine-free beverages billed as sports recovery drinks.

Scott Garfitt/AP

There is no proven safe dose of caffeine for children, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The group recommends that children under 12 avoid all caffeine, and those between the ages of 12 and 18 limit their intake to about 100 mg.

At any age, excessive caffeine consumption can lead to sleep deprivation, anxiety, nausea and lack of appetite, headaches and dizziness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A child in Wales has reportedly suffered cardiac arrest after consuming Prime. And even before Schumer issued his public warning, some schools in the UK have started banning Prime drinks.

In his letter to the FDA, Schumer outlined four main areas he believed worthy of investigation: the drink’s claims to increase athletic performance and concentration, its heavy social media advertising, its labels and warnings, and its amazing caffeine.»

In a statement shared with NPR, Prime said the caffeine level in its energy drink is «within the legal limit of the countries where it’s sold» and that it had «met all FDA guidelines before entering the market.»

«As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organization regarding suggested industry changes they deem necessary to protect consumers,» the company wrote.

Will the FDA really investigate? What could come of it?

It’s unclear whether the FDA, which falls under the executive branch, will heed Schumer’s appeal. The administration has not yet responded to NPR’s request for comment.

Even if he decides to investigate, it’s unclear what regulation, if any, he might impose on a substance like caffeine, which isn’t banned for any age group in the United States.

Perhaps the best precedent is a 2010 controversy over Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink that caused an uproar following the hospitalization of dozens of young drinkers. The makers of Four Loko voluntarily removed the drink’s 156 mg of caffeine ahead of an early ruling from the FDA.

When it comes to the global cultural phenomenon that is Prime energy drinks, calling for an investigation by a single lawmaker only underscores the relative lack of attention the US government is paying to social media marketing. And that’s important, according to marketers like Craig because they don’t see these spaces disappearing any time soon.

«We need a serious reboot from the analog age to the social age,» he told NPR. «We’re still talking about this as a digital economy. We’re not in a digital economy, we’re now in a social economy.»


#Prime #Logan #Paul #drink #senator #investigate
Image Source : www.npr.org

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Scroll al inicio