top of page

The latest news, trends, analysis, interviews and podcasts from the global food and beverage industry

FoodBev Media Logo
Access more as a FoodBev subscriber

Sign up to FoodBev and unlock more insights from the international food and beverage industry. Subscribers have access to webinars, newsletters, publications and more...

US Senate calls on FDA to investigate Prime Energy
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

11 July 2023

US Senate calls on FDA to investigate Prime Energy

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called on regulators to investigate Prime Energy drink – a product marketed to children and teenagers to quench thirst that contains 200mg of caffeine. Schumer sent a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Robert Califf, calling on the organisation to investigate Prime and its energy drink for health claims, high caffeine content and marketing. Prime, a beverage brand launched last year by YouTube creators Logan Paul and KSI, contains more caffeine content than a cup of coffee, a can of Coca-Cola and a can of Red Bull, according to Schumer. Schumer said a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 34 milligrams of caffeine, and an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull has 80 milligrams. Contrastingly, a 12-ounce can of Prime Energy contains 200 milligrams of caffeine. In his letter to the FDA, Schumer said that at 200mg for 12 ounces, Prime could “endanger the health of kids”. Schumer explained that the drink has become a children’s status symbol on social media and that the company website “lacks warnings and other information to help parents”. However, the website states that its beverages are “for ages 18+”. He said: “Prime is so new that most parents haven’t a clue about it, but it is born from the reels of social media and the enigmatic world of influencers. Kids see it on their phones or as they scroll, and they actually need it and the problem here is that this product has so much caffeine in it that it puts Red Bull to shame, but unlike Red Bull, this product has one true target market: children under the age of 18, and that is why I am sounding the alarm and asking the FDA to investigate Prime.” He added: “This is eye-popping levels of caffeine for a child’s body. And because the product is billed as a hydration and sports drink in its other near-identical form, kids are likely to ingest cans of this stuff with parents unaware – and that’s a recipe for disaster.” The Prime Energy brand also sells a caffeine-free version of its drink in similar packaging. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states that children should not consume energy drinks and rarely need sports drinks. “Energy drinks pose potential health risks because of the stimulants they contain, and should never be consumed by children or adolescents,” according to the AAFP. Concerns were also raised by a primary school in Wales, UK, at the beginning of May. A text message sent out by the Milton Primary School’s management in Newport, Wales, at the time said: “This morning, a parent has reported that their child has had a cardiac episode over the weekend after drinking a Prime energy drink. The child had to have their stomach pumped, and although better now, the parent wanted us to share this as a reminder of the potential harmful effects.” 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." The representative continued: "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.”

Related posts
Japan’s Ueshima brings RTD iced coffee cans to UK
New products

Japan’s Ueshima brings RTD iced coffee cans to UK

Treasure Wine Estates and Snoop Dogg partner to launch RTD cocktail range
Beverage

Treasure Wine Estates and Snoop Dogg partner to launch RTD cocktail range

Diageo divests majority stake in Guinness Nigeria to Tolaram
Alcohol

Diageo divests majority stake in Guinness Nigeria to Tolaram

Mtn Dew introduces limited-edition summer flavours
Beverage

Mtn Dew introduces limited-edition summer flavours

CCEP adds Golden Mango flavour to Powerade line-up
New products

CCEP adds Golden Mango flavour to Powerade line-up

Birchall brews up sustainability with UK's first solar-powered tea factory
Manufacturing

Birchall brews up sustainability with UK's first solar-powered tea factory

bottom of page