Condom sales surge due to loosening Covid restrictions, Durex reveals

The only way is up: Condom sales are surging due to loosening Covid restrictions, Durex reveals

  • Durex condoms are flying off the shelves in countries such as China where restrictions are easing
  • Goods giant Reckitt Benckiser said it saw ‘double-digit’ increase in condom sales
  • Bosses expect sales to grow in countries as lockdowns and social distancing measures are eased

Durex condoms are flying off the shelves as couples who have been forced to stick to a two-metre distance throughout the pandemic are finally free to have sex again as lockdown restrictions ease. 

Lovers in countries such as China, where restrictions are easing, are buying more condoms, causing sales to surge, according to consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser.

Bosses have reported a ‘double-digit’ increase in the condom sales and they expect this to grow in other countries as lockdowns and social distancing measures are eased, allowing more couples to have some alone time. 

Durex condoms are flying off the shelves as couples who have been forced to stick to a two-metre distance throughout the pandemic are finally free to have sex again as lockdown restrictions ease

At the start of the pandemic last year Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Durex, saw a sharp drop in demand for condoms when lockdown restrictions were in place – banning people from different households having sex.

But as the social-distancing rules were relaxed in the summer months, sales of condoms rose by more than 12 per cent – and they have again this year as restrictions ease.

‘Sexual wellness’ products also saw a rise in sales in countries including China, as well as parts of the U.S. and Europe. 

Meanwhile Reckitt Benckiser said sales of its disinfectant products Dettol and Lysol have increased as customers continue to take extra precautions to avoid spreading Covid-19. 

Meanwhile Reckitt Benckiser said sales of its disinfectant products Dettol and Lysol have increased as customers continue to take extra precautions to avoid spreading Covid-19.

The boost in sexual wellbeing sales was not enough to offset an overall fall in the company’s health division, where sales fell 16.4 per cent compared to a year ago, due to so many households stockpiling cold and flu medicines at the start of the pandemic.

People across the world have struggled throughout the pandemic with long distance relationships and having to put up with online dates. 

But some couples have spent the last year living together and for some it has led to a better sex life. 

It comes as Ann Summers in February reported an increase in the sale of sex toys as couples become more adventurous in the bedroom as they are spending more time together.

The retailer also said that more people are buying quiet vibrators as lockdown has forced flatmates to be cooped up or grown children to move back in with their parents. 

Ann Summers said sales of its quietest vibrator, the Whisper Rabbit, are up by 60 per cent compared with a year ago.    

Meanwhile, early on in the pandemic, many experts predicted that lockdowns and stay-at-home orders would lead to a surge in births because more couples were spending more time together and may be having more sex.   

But in fact, the opposite has happened. In the US, states have shown declines in the number of babies born.     

It comes as Ann Summers in February reported an increase in the sale of sex toys as couples become more adventurous in the bedroom as they are spending more time together 

In Reckitt Benckiser’s nutrition division sales fell 12.3 per cent, again due to stockpiling, the company said, but hygiene sales were up 21.1 per cent leading to an overall sales tally for the first three months of the year of £3.5 billion – down 1.1 per cent overall.

Chief executive Laxman Narasimhan said: ‘Demand for Lysol and Dettol continues to be strong as consumers remain vigilant to the spread of the virus and see use of our products, and improved hygiene habits, as a way of protecting their health and regaining normality in their lives.

‘As is to be expected, the underlying drivers of near-term demand for disinfectant products are dynamic, with countries around the world at different stages of the pandemic, and we are therefore closely tracking shifts in consumer behaviour to understand supply-and-demand trends.

‘Our health business is seeing improved trading in sexual wellbeing, very strong growth in Gaviscon and improved execution overall.

‘Meanwhile, we expect the difficult current market conditions for our cold and flu relief products to improve over time.

‘In nutrition, trading continues to be strongly affected by the closure of the Hong Kong border, although we are beginning to annualise the impact of this.’

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