In any economic scenario, there are winners — and already, sexual wellness companies are coming out on top.
Amid the public health crisis, customers are either finding themselves in closer proximity to their partners or in total isolation. It’s allowed sexual wellness products to take on a bigger role in the self-care space. Two-year-old brand Maude, which sells condoms, lubricants, vibrators and candles, started to see an increase in returning customers at the beginning of February. As of the week beginning March 23, returning customer revenue nearly doubled. Maude’s lubricant sales have increased 15% and condom sales increased 50% month-over-month. CBD brand Kush Queen has also seen its DTC personal lubricant sales organically increase by 17% since February. With no promotion, fellow CBD company Manna Molecular is selling upward of 50 units per day of its topical sex gel that launched in March.
“Intimacy is shifting,” said Eva Goicochea, Maude founder. “In terms of the market, I can imagine that our understanding of our bodies and that of our partners will become even more of a conversation.”
Maude is digitally native, with e-commerce retail partners like Verishop. It doubled its sales between 2018 and 2019, but is only projecting 75% year-on-year growth in 2020 due to coronavirus disruptions, said Goicochea. Still, at that rate, it will profitable by the fourth quarter.
Violet Grey has also seen an accelerated interest in its sexual wellness products, which include devices, lubricants and intimate wipes. The Nécessaire sex gel it sells is on backorder by nearly 100 units, and a massage oil candle has seen a 150% sales increase since it launched in January, according to Maureen Choi, Violet Grey executive director of content and curation. The retailer is dedicating the first week of April thematically to sexual wellness, with content spanning social media, email marketing and the retailer’s editorial blog, The Violet Files. A daily email will be sent to an undisclosed database of customers, and the content featured will be edited for reuse on Instagram and the company site’s homepage. The retailer has most recently promoted sexual wellness around Valentine’s Day.
“[This is a] conversation that is easier to have in the social space, and you’re starting to see people engaging on Instagram Live, talking about it,” Choi said. “People don’t have the barrier of time restrictions right now; we’ve got nothing but time, and people are wanting to find ways to connect. If you can’t go outside and get your exercise in, you might as well have a little fun and enjoy yourself.”