prime tracker

Store and distribution centre ‘insiders’ are feeding real-time Prime drink stock data to an app that directs users to stores that have the in-demand product in stock.

The Prime Tracker UK app also sources stock information through phoning stores and photo submissions from users, to give a live view of where the viral hit drink can be purchased.

“With a combination of those three things, we can effectively track stock for Asda, Aldi and Spar,” explained the paid-for app’s developer Tom Bastable. “Our insiders are great – we have senior level people and shop floor staff. So many people want to help the consumer, it’s amazing.” 

Bastable launched the app – which costs 89p to download – after finding Asda click & collect orders of the drink “just didn’t end up being fulfilled, because of its poor stock system”.

“They also later stopped their social media team from communicating stock dates – so from a consumer perspective, there was a massive hole that needed to be filled. I was hoping someone else would do it initially, but a few weeks after launch I developed the first version in three days,” Bastable, a freelance software developer, told The Grocer.

The app claims to track more than 2,200 stores in the UK, including Asda, Spar, Tesco, Costco and Nisa. Users receive notifications of new stock availability in their area.

It is currently the most downloaded paid-for shopping-related app in the UK.

Prime launched in the UK in July in Asda in what is understood to be an exclusivity deal that ended this month. It’s since been stocked by several supermarkets and convenience chains. The brand – founded by YouTube influencers KSI and Logan Paul – has become a viral sensation, with footage of shoppers queueing for hours outside supermarkets to secure their purchase of the coconut water-based drink.

There is a significant resale market, with buyers advertising the drink for sale on social media at significant mark-up. Convenience stores are also marking up the drink, with one store owner in Wakefield promoting cans for £100 each.

Bastable said he understood the viral phenomenon around Prime.

“I get it!” he told The Grocer. “As a kid that grew up in the 90s and witnessed a few crazes – tamagotchis, Teletubby dolls etc – I understand that feeling of wanting something it’s not possible to have. Scarcity brings with it demand – and that’s what we’re seeing here. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Prime considering many people still haven’t even tried it.”

The app has been endorsed by Prime brand founder KSI.

“I’ve actually downloaded the app to find Prime, because it’s literally impossible,” he said in a social media video post. “Any parents watching, this is a good app to try and find Prime.”

The endorsement was “absolutely incredible” said Bastable.

“I sincerely hope everyone gets to feel the same way I did when I saw that for the first time at some point in their lives. It also brings with it its own responsibility, too. He’s given us a bigger platform, and I feel like we have a responsibility to do some good with it while it’s this size.”