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We unpick how Prime Hydration has become the ‘must-have’ health drink of the year and explore where the brand goes from here.

What is Prime Hydration?

Trendbite: How does a sports drink reach such meteoric success that gets the whole world talking?
Prime Hydration (Photo: SW Group)

Congo Brands partnered with rapper Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji (KSI) and YouTuber/media personality Logal Paul to produce Prime, a new sports drink that first launched in the US in January 2022. More than half a million people watched the pair announce their beverage collaboration on YouTube.

Positioned with multiple health benefits, the drink appeals to those looking to make ‘better-for-you’ choices across a range of lifestyles – not just athletes.

It is an electrolyte- and antioxidant-fortified beverage with 10 % coconut water, with natural flavours. Its product range includes Ice Pop, Orange, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Punch, Lemon Lime, Grape, and a limited-edition flavour, Meta Moon, flavours. Its launch line-up is a ‘who’s who’ in classic, well-known flavours with broad accessibility and appeal.

Why is it so popular?

The founders have a combined social media following of over 125million across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube – giving them an enormous ‘ready-made’ customer base.

The brand has secured exclusivity agreements with select retail partners, limiting the ways in which people can purchase the product. This has driven enormous hype around the product’s availability, which only adds to the appeal.

The drink was released in stores and online in the US on the 8th January and strength of demand led to it selling out within hours. In the UK, it was a similar story, with national media adding to the demand with increasing coverage and frenzy around the brand’s limited availability.

This exclusivity has certainly been a key driver behind the drink’s success. According to GlobalData’s Q3 2022 global consumer survey, about 52 % of consumers say that they are often or always influenced by the fact the product they are purchasing is novel or unique.

The Q2 survey highlighted how 43 % of global consumers see food and beverages being endorsed by a celebrity as an essential or nice to have feature, which will have certainly boosted the success of Prime – particularly with the younger generations.

How important are the ingredients?

Quantifying just how important isn’t an exact science, but history tells us that ultimately the taste, and quality, of the flavour are what matter long-term. The draw of celebrity endorsements, fueled by the products’ limited availability are sure to drive huge interest around initial purchase. One must question the longevity of that as a standalone strategy as, without a great tasting formulation behind the brand, appetite will inevitably fizzle out.

The quality of the drinking experience is a big part of what keeps people coming back to a product – making it integral to the brand’s success in the long term.

What’s next?

The brand is preparing to expand to India, Australia, South Africa, and the UAE this year. Logan Paul has been quoted as saying: “We want to be a global brand, and we believe that because the audience JJ and I have built online is extensive – the internet is available in most parts of the world, and we’re finding that our silly mugs are popping up on people’s phones across the world – it would be foolish not to capitalise on it.”

Other brands will surely look to emulate Prime’s success, with influencer-based marketing becoming increasingly prevalent in the beverage industry. We’re also seeing what can be achieved when consumer-aligned ingredients, the right health and wellbeing claims, and a sense of excitement around a product’s exclusivity collide.