Hard times for Durex as condom sales plunge amid coronavirus lockdown

Hard times for Durex as condom sales plunge with lockdown ‘limiting the number of intimate occasions’

  • The maker of Durex condoms said less people in the UK and Italy are having sex
  • CEO said that social distancing measures have limited the opportunity for sex 
  • Another manufacturer said it will produce 200 million less condoms this month 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

By Matt Oliver For The Daily Mail

Published: | Updated:

Britons are having less sex because of the coronavirus lockdown, according to the maker of Durex condoms.

Laxman Narasimhan, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, said sales of condoms had been hit particularly hard in the UK and Italy – with restrictions ‘limiting the number of intimate occasions’. 

However, sales have not been affected in China, where restrictions are now being lifted. 

Mr Narasimhan said social distancing had limited opportunities for sex and couples were being less intimate than usual, possibly because of stress.

‘Intimate occasions are going down and that is a manifestation of anxiety,’ the chief executive added. 

Maker of Durex condoms has revealed that sales of condoms had been hit particularly hard in the UK and Italy (stock photo)

Mr Narasimhan added that young people in the UK were having ‘significantly’ less sex than before.

At the same time, the consumer goods giant yesterday revealed that other parts of its business have been supercharged by the pandemic, with hygiene and health products flying off supermarket shelves.

It also noted that it expected demand for condoms to recover when lockdown ends, and said its condom factories would not scale back production.

However, condom manufacturers around the world have warned of the impact of coronavirus. 

Karex, the world’s largest condom producer which makes one in five of all condoms, closed three of its factories. 

The firm warned it expects to produce 200m fewer condoms than usual from mid-March to mid-April.

Goh Miah Kiat, Karex’s chief executive, told AFP earlier this month: ‘The world will definitely see a condom shortage.

Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, suggested at the start of lockdown that the restrictions could be a ‘test’ for couples

‘It’s challenging, but we are trying our best right now to do whatever we can. It is definitely a major concern – a condom is an essential medical device.’  

The government was asked about the impact of coronavirus on romance and relationships at the start of the lockdown.

In response, it was suggested the restrictions are an opportunity to ‘test relationships’. 

Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, said: ‘If the two halves of a couple are currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in those households. 

‘The alternative might be that, for quite a significant period going forwards, they should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household.’ 


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