Logan Paul and KSI's Prime Energy could be investigated for elevated levels of caffeine
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After months of it flying off the shelves at rapid speeds, Logan Paul and KSI's Prime Energy could be facing an investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
There was a period of time there when supermarkets could hardly whisper the word 'Prime' without causing a stampede of customers, but thankfully the demand around the influencer-made drink seems to have calmed down a bit now.
It might be just as well, as politician Charles Schumer, who is the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, has now called on the FDA to launch an investigation into Prime Energy, which was first released in January and is touted as sugar-free and vegan.
On Sunday (9 July), Schumer said: "One of the summer’s hottest status symbols for kids is not an outfit, or a toy—it’s a beverage. But buyer and parents beware because it’s a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets.”
The concern around Prime Energy comes due to its caffeine levels. In 12 ounces of Prime (around 354 millilitres), there are 200 milligrams of caffeine.
For comparison, one can of original Coca Cola (330ml) contains 32mg of caffeine, while Diet Coke contains 42mg.
If you're a Red Bull fan, you're looking at 80mg of caffeine in one 250-ml can of Red Bull Energy Drink.
The young fanbase surrounding YouTubers KSI and Paul has naturally led to Prime being coveted by younger customers, though representatives for Prime have argued that Prime Energy is clearly labeled as 'not recommended for children under 18'.
The brand has another product, Prime Hydration, which contains no caffeine, but Schumer has claimed there's not much to differentiate the two beverages in online marketing.
In a letter written to the FDA, Schumer claimed parents are being led to believe they're purchasing juice for their children, only to end up with a 'cauldron of caffeine'.
“A simple search on social media for Prime will generate an eye-popping amount of sponsored content, which is advertising,” he said. “This content and the claims made should be investigated, along with the ingredients and the caffeine content in the Prime energy drink.”
The popularity of Prime among young people prompted one school in Australia to issue a ban on energy drinks, stating: "There are some new energy or hydration drinks that have recently hit the market... some of which have 4 TIMES the caffeine or stimulant as 'regular' energy drinks.
"These can cause significant concerns in students with (potentially unidentified) health issues," it added.
In response to Schumer's call for an investigation, a representative for Prime said: "PRIME has two drinks on the market, PRIME Hydration and PRIME Energy. It is very important to make the distinction between the two products because they are vastly different.
"We started PRIME last year with the launch of Hydration, a healthier sports drink alternative that comes in a bottle. PRIME Energy, sold in a can, dropped in 2023 and contains a comparable amount of caffeine to other top selling energy drinks, all falling within the legal limit of the countries it’s sold in. It complied with all FDA guidelines before hitting the market and states clearly on packaging, as well as in marketing materials, that it is an energy drink and is not made for anyone under the age of 18.
"As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organisation regarding suggested industry changes they feel are necessary in order to protect consumers."