Shoppers lined up outside stores before dawn, jostled other shoppers and even dove headfirst into displays on Thursday as sales of the YouTuber-promoted Prime Hydration energy drink kicked off with a bubbly in Aldi supermarkets.
Shoppers rushed to UK Aldi stores early in the morning to grab bottles of the £1.99 drink, which became an internet sensation after it was launched by social media influencers KSI and Logan Paul.
The craze was fueled by the limited availability of the drink in Britain – before Christmas it was previously only available on its own website or at Asda, where it sold for £2 a bottle – leading to the sale of supplies and putting bottles up for sale online for up to £10,000.
Videos shared on social media showed shoppers waiting outside stores in the dark, and others crowding around bottles inside Aldi’s Bolton stores in London and Plymouth, as shoppers made a offers to get the drink back before it runs out.
In one video, filmed by a customer at an Aldi in Chelmsford, Essex, shoppers struggled to grab bottles and several children dove into the display to reach the drink.
The energy drink – sold in 500ml bottles and available in six flavors including Blue Raspberry and Ice Pop – is the result of a business venture between former boxing rivals Paul and KSI, the pseudonym of 29-year-old Olajide Olatunji , from Watford. The couple both found fame on YouTube and have hordes of mostly teenage fans.
The Prime Hydration website says the drink contains 10% coconut water, zero added sugar and electrolytes, and up to 25 calories per bottle. It is classified as a sports drink and does not contain caffeine, so there are no restrictions on its sale to those under 16.
In several videos, Aldi staff could be seen trying to control crowds of customers after stores opened.
The discount supermarket chain tweeted on Wednesday to let customers know Prime was coming to all of its UK stores, but said stock was limited and customers could only buy one bottle of each of the three flavors available.
Aldi said: “We’re sorry some customers couldn’t get their hands on this product. However, demand has been extremely high…we have limited purchases to one of each variant per customer so that as many customers as possible have the opportunity to purchase it.
Twitter feed @prime_tracker – which was set up to help fans find available drink bottles – reported just after 9 a.m. Thursday morning that Prime had sold out.
Prime Hydration – several bottles of which are still on sale on eBay for up to £10,000 – originally shipped from the US after launching in the UK this summer.
The drink is now made in the UK by Refresco, which makes soft drinks, juices and energy drinks, and works with brands such as Old Jamaica and Calypso.