Pleasure-Focused Innovations are Boosting Condom Sales

Ultra-thin, custom-fit, biodegradable, and glow-in-the dark—there’s a condom for every taste, and a plethora of adventurous ways to wrap your junk for protection and pleasure.

Even so, it’s a big challenge for vendors to keep their products interesting enough to tantalize new consumers. From sports-themed prophylactics with cheeky captions to commemorate the Pan Am games, to glowing condoms that can supposedly detect STIs, the global condom market is in a constant state of innovating.

This is one of the main reasons that the market as a whole is actually in a period of growth, with a CAGR of 9.28% expected from 2014-2019.

Pleasure-Focused Innovation

Condoms have traditionally been positioned as a tool to preventing pregnancy and STDs. However, the marketing departments for many big brands are seeing more potential in selling condoms as a product that helps make sex better.

Because—let’s face it—condom manufacturers have the daunting task of making a product that, well, doesn’t suck.

To do this, they have to create condoms that add an element to sex that bare backing just can’t provide. Some recent examples include condoms with anti-ejaculation chemicals to help gents last longer in the sack, and a female condom with a Bluetooth-enabled outer ring that vibrates during sex.

Want more? Check out Technavio’s global condom market report.

Increase in Demand for Female Condoms

Another big trend being witnessed in the global condom market is the appearance and growing popularity of female condoms.

In the 1990s, women’s health advocates demanded female-controlled barrier methods in order to promote gender equality, and give women more control over their own sexual safety.

While the battle for equality is still raging, female condoms are seen as a woman-initiated way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and STDs including HIV/AIDS. This product is promoted through various forums both commercial and institutional including UNAIDS in almost 90 developing countries, including South Africa, Brazil, and Ghana.

Male vs Female Condoms

Even though demand for female condoms is growing, male condoms are still the overwhelmingly popular option. In 2014, the female condom industry accounted for only 7.52% of the market whereas the male condoms held a market share of 92.48%.

Female condoms are less reliable, more expensive and harder to use than male condoms, which make them a tough sell for most vendors. However, despite capturing a smaller market share, the growth rate of female condoms is actually keeping pace with male condoms, with both segments growing at CAGRs of just over 9% from 2014-2019.