DON'T FORGET YOUR RUBBERS

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Curious about what time of the year Americans are most amorous? Precoital drugstore purchases just may be the best indicator of all. According to Schaumburg, Ill.-based market research firm ACNielsen, Americans purchased 354 million condoms from grocery stores, drugstores and mass merchants (not including Wal-Mart) in 2002, or an average of 27 million prophylactics every four weeks. And while contraceptive sales were fairly constant throughout the year, condom sales in 2002 climaxed between mid-May and mid-August, when consumers picked up an average of 27.8 million condoms per four-week period. The lowest point occurred between September and November, when just 26.1 million condoms were sold per four-week interval. Interestingly, March — a relatively average month for condom sales — was when sales of pregnancy tests typically reached their peak. Of the 28.6 million in-home pregnancy tests sold last year, 2.4 million were sold during the four weeks that ended March 23.

SEX AFTER MARRIAGE

Families with young children make up the largest segments of the market for condoms and in-home pregnancy tests.

PERCENT OF DOLLAR SALES ACCOUNTED FOR BY SELECTED LIFE STAGES:*

LIFE STAGE CONDOMS PREGNANCY TESTS
Young singles (18-34), not married 4% 4%
Young childless couples (18-34), no kids 13% 22%
New families 1+ child (under age 6) 15% 29%
Maturing families 1+ child (at least 1 child age 6-12) 26% 31%
Established families 1+ child (all age 12+) 5% 4%
Empty nesters (55+, no children) 7% 2%
*Numbers do not add to 100 percent because not all life stages are shown.
Source: ACNielsen Homescan
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