Prime hype fades like a fix of sugar

LIKE the sugar hits nutritionists warned were being encouraged, the huge hype that saw Perth supermarkets mobbed by teens trying to get their hands on Prime drinks seems to have disappeared. “Parents back ban on Prime,” Voice, Saturday April 1, 2023).

Launched as a collaboration between popular media figures Logan Paul and KSI, Prime caused a frenzy when it was released in Woolworths stores across Perth on March 26. 

“We sold out in the first three hours,” one Woolies staffer told the Voice, describing the teens’ desire as “insane”. 

“We were ravaged with people asking for Prime … at least 10 people per shift.”

But health experts were quick to raise concerns about the energy and hydration varieties of the drink. While Prime Energy’s 56mg of caffeine per 100ml far exceeds Australian food standards regulation and it’s banned from sale, it is readily accessible for purchase on eBay and similar platforms.

Prime Hydration’s use of preservatives and synthetic sweeteners such as sucralose also concerned health experts, who warned it could push kids towards a habit of sipping on sweet drinks.

This triggered widespread bans by WA schools including Mt Hawthorn Primary. 

But by last week sales of Prime seemed to have slumped, with a Woolies staffer telling the Voice they’d only managed to move one crate of the drink from their store in over a week.

And despite the hyper-inflated price people were prepared to pay to get their hands on one at the end of March, the store was unable to sell more Prime despite offering it on discount.

The Root Cause founder Belinda Smith says it’s possible parents were responding to the health concerns and school bans and stopping their kids buying Prime, while kids might have also been getting the message.

“The media and schools are part of our surroundings, so… what they’re role modelling influences not just parents, but also children.”

“Having no added sugar does not make any drink healthier,” Ms Smith said.

Instead Prime Hydration relied on “sweeteners which are yet to be proven to be safe over the long term”.

The Root Cause recently released an article supporting the schools which banned Prime, but also partnered with the Obesity Policy Coalition’s Jane Martin.

“The government needs to take a more proactive role when it comes to advertising foods and drinks to children,” Dr Martin said, noting the use of social media celebrities such as Paul and KSI had fuelled Prime’s initial frenzy.


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