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Checkers grabs SA rights to the PRIME drink phenomenon

The worldwide hydration drink phenomenon, PRIME, will be widely available to local fans – at the supermarket price of only R39.99 – as Checkers has confirmed it is the official South African retail partner.  

PRIME has become an international viral sensation following its hugely successful launch in January 2022 by YouTube sensations Logan Paul and KSI who, combined, boast around 100 million social media followers. 

From Monday 1 May 2023, PRIME will be sold at selected Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores and on Sixty60 in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. It will roll out to the rest of South Africa during the month.  

Checkers is launching with four PRIME Hydration flavours: Ice Pop, Blue Raspberry, Lemon Lime and Tropical Punch. Purchases will be limited to eight per customer, two per flavour. 

Each 500ml bottle of PRIME has around 20 calories and is an ideal thirst quencher for consumers who wish to rehydrate, refuel and replenish their energy levels.

It is made up of 10% coconut water, with zero added sugar or caffeine, and contains electrolytes, vitamins A, E & Zinc and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). 

First launched in the US, UK and Australia in 2022, PRIME’s availability caused major excitement amongst Gen Z customers, resulting in thousands lining up overnight to get their hands on the popular drink which has now become a viral collector’s item around the world. 

Checkers will be hosting launch events at several of it stockist stores.

What’s the deal with PRIME?

How did a ‘side hustle’ generate over $250m in its first year? SA’s trend/futurist guru, Jonathan Cherry had this to say on the marketing impetus behind PRIME….

What is PRIME? It’s a strong, brightly-packaged energy drink created by mega-influencers Logan Paul (American) and KSI (British) that just about every teenager on Earth is falling over themselves to get their hands on.

What it also is, is an interesting case study in modern marketing strategy.

So on that point – how is it that a brand new energy drink went from $0 just two years ago, to now having $250m in revenues in 2022 and $40m in just January this year?

Logan Paul and KSI

Paul has over 23 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and KSI has more than 16 million. These are not ordinary individuals who started a little side hustle, these are celebrities with significant cultural influence. Whatever product or brand they choose to promote is guaranteed to get out of the gates with a strong tailwind.

This is not brand created by some faceless multinational ‘addressing an identified consumer need‘ – these are notorious personalities offering their fans the chance to own a little piece of their idols.

Here the duo share a launch promo – it’s fabulous! (Ed)

Some are wanting to ban it

If you want teenagers to desire something, make sure that it gets banned and parents hate it. Teachers must be warning against it and government health departments must have ‘grave concerns’ about its existence. Tick, tick, tick and tick.

The stuff apparently contains more caffeine and other bad stuff than is seriously necessary – so you’ll know that it was made to cause a stir. Hey, we used to want to listen to Marilyn Manson because Barney Simon said it was cool; the kids of today want a bottle of strong coffee that may or may not disallow sleep for a month. What’s more dangerous?

Limited supply

As soon as stores get their small, purposefully-sparse quota of PRIME stock, it sells out very quickly. This kind of false scarcity is classic ECON101 market manipulation encouraging black market trading and a healthy dose of network buzz.

Most marketers would never dream of throttling back supply in an effort to boost demand, but in the case of PRIME it’s a tactic that works really well.


Fans of Paul and KSI are micro-influencers themselves – re-promoting their own PRIME-drinking coolness on TikTok. This kind of hype is priceless while it’s hot. PRIME is not so much a product as it is a culture. The culture carries the narrative on, the trick is to not stand in the freight train’s way.

What’s the take out?

Some call them celebrities others call them influencers, but people who carry social clout have the power to successfully sell at scale. Whether it’s Rihanna, Emma Chamberlain, Jamie Oliver or Logan Paul and KSI – the people behind brands sell brands very effectively.

The story here is one of personal branding. It has always been powerful and still is. Throw in social media and you’ve got a global marketing machine that only the likes of Coca Cola would have been able to get right 10 years ago.

Source: Checkers,

Who is the real owner of Prime Hydration? And no it’s neither KSI nor Logan Paul?

It is true that KSI and Logan Paul have founded the energy drink, but they separately own only 20% of the company and are not the owners of Prime hydration energy drink.

They usually endorse and promote the energy drink regularly, but the ownership and management of the company remain with Kentucky-based merchandising and distribution experts, Congo Brands.

Specialising in developing and manufacturing innovative products for the outdoor and travel markets, the Kentucky company was founded by businessmen Max Clemons and Trey Steiger in 2014.

Since then, they have been working to create products that ease the outdoor human experience. With experts in product design, engineering, and manufacturing, Congo Brands has a portfolio of products that include water bottles, hydration packs, and water filtration systems.

Prime hydration energy drink is a product that is designed for outdoor enthusiasts, travellers, and anyone looking for a convenient way to stop for a quick water break while on the run.

According to the brand description on Congo Brands’s official website, “Prime was founded by 2 social media mega stars, Logan Paul and KSI. They’ve built their following over the last decade on social media and have millions of fans all around the world. The goal for Prime Hydration was to build a better for you lifestyle beverage that people could enjoy on any occasion.”