Kaunda Selisho

By Kaunda Selisho


WTF is Prime Drink and why does it cost R500 a pop? 

Here's everything you need to know about Prime Drink which is trending in South Africa and costs between R400 and R700.

Pictures of a new sports drink on the South African market, called Prime Drink, have been doing the rounds as celebrities and ordinary people alike try to figure out what it is, why there is hype around it and why it costs so much.

SABC News anchor Leanna Manas sought to get to the bottom of it by asking her Twitter followers; “Guys what is the madness with this?? Asking for a friend who’s kids are driving her mad for a bottle that costs an arm and leg.”

She shared the tweet along with a picture of Prime drink and garnered over 400 responses. 

947 radio host and Celebrity Game Night presenter Anele Mdoda simply asked “Parent Twitter. You know this?” 

“When it launched in the UK people were fighting punching each other to try and get one. Was sold out in the UK within minutes. Currently available in South Africa from R479 a bottle. The product is marketed by two massive TikTok influences. One of these two influencers had a racist incident last week so I expect sales to start dropping,” tweeted @goolammv in response to Manas. 

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“When you put two YouTube superstars with a combined 130 million subscribers together, that’s what you get. A pandemic,” said @kgotsoTwo along with a video of the sport’s drink’s reported founders. 

“Siba tried scamming me to buy it for him, I googled it & it said it’s not for under 18,” tweeted influencer Tshepi Vundla in response to Anele’s question about Prime. 

Prime causes a frenzy in the UK 

According to UK publication Evening Standard, the drink was launched in the UK towards the end of 2022 and it caused a frenzy among shoppers. 

Not only was the drink sold out shortly after its launch, but retailers also had to place limits on how much stock each customer could buy to stop resellers buying up stock. 

The publication also reported that a tracker app had also been created to allow customers to verify stock before visiting stores.

What is it? 

The publication further explains that the product is a hydration drink that was introduced late last year by content creators Logan Paul and KSI. 

The pair partnered with supplier and distributor Congo Brands to initially sell the product in both the UK and the US.

Paul is from the US and had 23 million subscribers at the time of writing, while UK-based KSI had 24 million subscribers. 

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Prime drink comes in two types – Prime Hydration and Prime Energy – and is available in seven flavours. It is said to contain 10% coconut water, 2g of sugar, 25 calories, 250mg of BCAAs (which enhance muscle growth), 830mg of electrolytes, as well as vitamins and antioxidants.

According to the Evening Standard, Prime Hydration is not an energy drink as it does not contain caffeine nor does it contain sugar. Instead, it is sweetened with aspartame.

Prime energy – on the other hand – contains 200mg caffeine. The National Institutes of Health website states that the maximum amount of caffeine for an adult per day is 400mg.

The South African Medical Society explains that although the amount of caffeine that is safe to drink varies from person to person due to age, weight, and health conditions, the FDA puts a moderate amount of caffeine intake at approximately four cups a day. 

Why does it cost so much? 

The simple answer: supply and demand. 

To get to the longer answer, however, we need to start by looking at how much Prime drink costs. 

Manas shared that the drink actually comes at quite an affordable recommended selling price (rsp). 

“Supply [and] demand, mega-famous social media influencers, WWE, Arsenal whatever whatever.. I still think this is crazy. My best mate called me laughing from NY saying it sells there for $2 (R37) a bottle! Moral of the story – think carefully before wasting your money on hype,” she tweeted. 

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In the UK, the recommended retail price for a single bottle is £2 and a case of 12 online is listed at £24.99.

The hype surrounding the drink means that limited quantities are available and this has caused prices to rise sharply. 

Comparisons to Syrup movie

For this write-up, the Prime drink phenomenon has unlocked a memory of the 2013 film titled Syrup starring Amber Heard, Shiloh Fernandez, Kellan Lutz and Brittany Snow. 

The American comedy-drama was directed by Aram Rappaport and is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Max Barry.

The film follows a young man who reinvents a persona named Scat. In the film, he comes up with a new idea for a drink named ‘FUKK’ after getting the idea from the swear word he yelled after dropping something that he was drinking. 

He goes to the film’s major soft drink company to pitch his idea after getting himself a meeting with a formidable marketing executive at the company named Six.

Syrup then follows his life as his idea becomes a major success, gets stolen, causes a frenzy and scandal in society due to the limited availability of the product and ultimately teaches him a “valuable life lesson”.

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