June 10, 2020 by Sujay Seetharaman

The global sexual wellness market was worth USD 21.26 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% over the forecast period from 2018 to 2023.

Within North America, the US-dominated the sexual wellness market with more than 80% market share in 2019.

The US sexual wellness market was worth USD 7.0 billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% over the forecast period. This also means that the US will account for about 20% of the global sexual wellness market in the next 4 years. This lucrative growth in the coming years can be credited to the rising prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and HIV infection.

The US has remained a key market for sexual wellness market vendors, especially considering large retailers such as Walmart have decided to sell sexual wellness products directly in their stores. The country has areas with an untapped and unserved demand for a diverse range of sexual wellness products.

Sexual Wellness Market By Product Segments

Sex toys dominated the sexual wellness product segment in 2019, growing at a CAGR of approximately 6%. This segment is witnessing high demand due to the growth in online sales distribution channels. Vibrators or dildos, massagers, rubber penis, Realdolls, and bondage gears are the prominent sex toys.

Sexual wellness products

List of sexual wellness products

 

Sex toys are primarily made in China, accounting for nearly 70% of the global manufacturing, and Japan is highly advanced when it comes to sexual wellness products in terms of both technology and experiences in the global sexual wellness market.

The market is witnessing a shift as women are becoming sexually empowered worldwide. There is also a growing demand for both shared and solo sex toys among end-users. Hence, these factors are contributing to the growth of sex toys in the market.

Condoms remain the most widely used contraceptive across the US with a revenue share of more than 34% in 2018.

Growth factors and Challenges of the Sexual Wellness Market

The increasing awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and increased sexual activity in teenagers in North America are likely to remain the major drivers for sexual health products in the Americas over the forecast period.

Given the long-lasting perception of the sexual wellness market being a male-centric industry, there is still restrictive awareness and accessibility to female condoms.

According to a study in 2019, women accounted for 32% of worldwide visitors on Pornhub, up 3% since the year before that. Combined with the buzz around feminist porn and the rise of Femtech, the time is ripe for brands to embrace the self-love movement.

With close to 20 million new cases of STDs reported in the US annually, female condom manufacturers have a reasonable market to deep dive into.

Erectile dysfunction deteriorates the sexual lives of the middle-aged population and they depend on lubricants to aid the process. Currently, almost 30 million men suffer from erectile dysfunction in the U.S. This gives an insight into the potential opportunities for men’s sexual wellness products and the huge scope of growth for the lubricant market over the forecast period.

Liberalization and the increasing number of individuals embracing their sexuality have led women and men to experiment and explore. Combine these factors with the rising population of the LGBT community, growing concerns over HIV infections and other STDs, and the drive to embrace new products, the outlook for this market looks healthy.

Unbound Clitoral Jolt Gel

Sexual wellness product: Unbound Clitoral Jolt Gel

There is also a push for gender-neutral wellness products, however, that is yet to attain maturity.

Adherence to USFDA standards and other regulations remains a key priority for vendors catering to the US market.

Channel and Market presence of Sexual Wellness Products

Sexual wellness products are mainly sold through retail distribution channels such as mass-market players, drug stores or pharmacies, specialty stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and grocery stores. However, online websites are the fastest-growing distribution channel globally, and growth in online sales is projected to increase by over 17.5% year on year.

In 2018, the retail segment contributed the highest revenue to the US sexual wellness market. The online segment is facing intense competition from the retail segment because of the entry of traditional condom manufacturers, which have increased the visibility of these products in store shelves across the country.

Ecommerce transactions are increasing, and a significant share of product distribution takes place through sex specialty stores such as Maude, Lola, and Unbound.

Leading vendors of Sexual Wellness Products

Leading players in the global sexual wellness market include

LELO
Church & Dwight Co. Inc.
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
Karex Berhad
Mankind Pharma
BioFilm IP LLC
Veru Inc.
LifeStyles Healthcare
Ansell Ltd.
Doc Johnson

Other Prominent Vendors

B. Cumming
Beate Uhse
Beijing Aimer
Bijoux Indiscrets
BILLY BOY (MAPA)
BioFilm

Conclusion

Sexual wellness companies have clearly differentiated themselves from the run-of-the-mill Adult goods companies by deliberately paying attention to product design, form, function, and feel. On the back of a demographic shift and the sensitization of sexual preferences, investment by Venture Capitalists in these companies is exploding. They have become an ‘essential’ niche within the larger ‘Health and Wellness’ category, notably during the stay-at-home phase of the COVID pandemic when sales of sexual wellness products skyrocketed.

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.