More informative condom displays will drive sales

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Today’s most compelling, and alarming, trend in sexual wellness is the secondary thought given to condom use among Millennial and Gen Z adults. According to both IRI and Nielsen, condom sales at brick-and-mortar have tracked slightly downward or leveled over the last several quarters and years. We know much purchasing has gone to online marketplaces, where condom purchasing is growing. And, especially during COVID lockdowns, today’s young consumer has not had the information or education about contraceptive choices. However, the rise of sexually transmitted infections year on year, as reported by the CDC, as well as the increased use of emergency contraception indicates that condom use may not be at the forefront of protection when it comes to sexual ­relationships.

Carol Carrozza

And we observe that manufacturers are not engaging young people with relevant information and education about condom use. The shift to focusing on “pleasure” in the sexual wellness category by some manufacturers suggests that young adults entering the market are missing important information about maintaining sexual health and protection, for both themselves and their partners. Okamoto condoms has embarked on an intensive, long-term initiative that includes one-on-one consumer interviews, inquiries into sex education levels, awareness about contraceptive choices, accessibility, pricing, naming, pack design and, most importantly, what is missing in sexual health today. Okamoto is dedicated to reaching Millennials and Gen Z in a meaningful way that will change behavior and contemporize the condom category.

What’s paramount for retailers is placing P-O-S signage. Consumers today have not had the benefit of the “safer sex” message. What’s more, cultural trends in the U.S. that affect family planning, contraception and birth control greatly influence condom usage. We urge retailers to place P-O-S signage — available from Okamoto — to help consumers understand the implications of restrictive contraceptive products and the importance of condom usage.

Consumers often have questions about condom thinness, a key consumer want in the category. Okamoto, for example, understands the consumer’s need for thin condoms — it makes one of the thinnest in America. The company has accompanying educational material about testing extremely thin condoms, assurance of quality and qualifying for U.S. and international test standards. Brick-and-mortar retailers can utilize the online content as well as P-O-S ­— even at pharmacy — to offer education, comparative value and product styles that will inform serious purchasers who then come to the store to sample and buy. Complementary or analogous signage can then be utilized at the point of sale.

Okamoto’s range of latex condoms is undergoing a major brand overhaul, including new thinner condoms and styles, supported with programs that Millennials and Gen Z can relate to and own. Utilizing advanced latex technology and formulating with premium, soft latex, Okamoto is launching a condom considerably thinner than condom device standards in the industry under a brand and design that is developed ostensibly by Millennial and Gen Z leaders.

In addition, an innovative approach to social media and online promotion will launch with the new designs, personally touching condom purchasers with information regarding relationships, dating and sexual wellness that is relevant to young adults today.

Carol Carrozza is marketing manager for Okamoto U.S.A.


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