Male condom sales in the United States rose 23.4% to $ 37 million in the four weeks ending April 18 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest figures from IRI , a market research company that tracks data from point of sale to big box retailers, grocery stores, drug stores and other retail channels.
That’s after a 4.4% drop in all of 2020, according to IRI.
Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY), the maker of condoms Durex, said Wednesday that Durex saw a double-digit percentage sales increase in the company’s last quarter compared to the same quarter last year. Durex sales increased last year, despite a “difficult first half”, and sales remained stable in 2019.
The company doesn’t present specific numbers for Durex, but it attributed the recent growth to relaxed social distancing rules.
The company saw “improvements for Durex in markets where social restrictions are relaxed,” CEO Laxman Narasimhan told analysts on Wednesday.
Walgreens (WBA) and CVS (CVS) also said condom sales had increased in stores in recent weeks compared to a year ago. A CVS spokesperson called the growth “substantial” in an email, but did not provide data.
Church and Dwight (CHD), the condom maker of Troy, said in January that this year looks “promising” for condom sales. “An even more expected sales rebound is in the condom category, because condoms are synonymous with pleasure. Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 can’t wait to get back to their social life, ”said Britta Bomhard, Marketing Director.
CEO Matt Farrell told analysts on Thursday that condoms “are expected to generate year-over-year growth as the company opens up and consumers have greater mobility.”
Even before the pandemic, condom sales had been slow. Sales fell 2.4% in 2017 and 3.4% in 2018 before climbing 1.2% in 2019, according to IRI data.
Church & Dwight, a Trojan parent, said in their February 2020 annual report that “condom use has declined, due to a smaller 18-24 year old population, other birth control options, less fear of HIV, fewer sexual acts and increased competition. “
Kevin Grundy, consumer goods analyst at Jefferies, said condoms had lost market share in recent years to other forms of contraception, including the morning after pill for women.
Sexual inactivity increased among American adults, mostly younger men, between 2000 and 2018, according to a study by researchers at Indiana University and the Karolinska Institutet of Sweden published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open. Researchers attributed young Americans who have less sex to a variety of factors, including late adulthood and the rise of technology and social media.
Men who were unemployed, had part-time jobs, or had lower incomes were more likely to be sexually inactive, the researchers found, noting that the percentage of sexually inactive men aged 18 to 24 increased from 18, 9% between 2000 and 2002 to 30.9%. between 2016 and 2018.