World's Biggest Condom Manufacturer Reveals Why Sales Dropped During Pandemic
15:12 GMT 11.01.2022 (Updated: 15:16 GMT 11.01.2022)
The company CEO explained that the assumption that people "had nothing [to do] but have sex” during lockdown does not take several factors into account.
While one might have thought that lockdowns across the world amid the ongoing pandemic would result in people having more sex, and therefore lead to an increase in condom sales, it turns out that the largest manufacturer of prophylactics, Karex Berhad, witnessed a decline in sales, Nikkei Asia reports.
Karex CEO Goh Miah Kiat told the newspaper that the use of their products has dropped by as much as 40 percent over the last two years.
As Goh explained, while it might appear that people who end up staying home amid lockdowns "had nothing [to do] but have sex,” such an assumption does not take into account the role hotels and motels play in intimate relations in countries where it is somewhat problematic to otherwise find privacy.
"[Hotel stays were] disrupted by the pandemic," he told the newspaper, noting that the sex industry has been less of a factor during the time period in question.
The CEO pointed out that "a large portion [of condoms] is distributed by governments around the world, which have reduced [distribution] significantly during COVID-19," and that the suspension of such condom handouts further exacerbated the situation.
He did note, however, that Karex witnessed an increase in sales of their non-condom products, such as personal lubricans and probe covers for medical devices, and that now the company is seeing condom sales improving across the world, and that their plants at Malaysia and Thailand are now running near full capacity.
The newspaper adds that Karex made a foray into the market of protective equipment for other body parts – medical gloves – with Goh saying that their new rubber glove factory would start with annual capacity of 500 million pieces, which would eventually be expanded to 2.5 billion pieces.