Government Initiatives to Spread Awareness Regarding Sexual Health to Trigger Sales of Condoms in China
Earlier, condoms in China were endorsed by the government as a hygiene concept, making the condom market an arena with narrow growth opportunities. However, post 2002, the government started endorsing condoms as a safety measure, which led to rise in the awareness about the benefits of condoms as a contraceptive and their increased adoption amongst consumers of all sexual orientations. As a result, the country’s condom market witnessed a tenfold rise in the yearly output of condoms between 1995 and 2015.
Transparency Market Research (TMR) analysts state that other than the government’s active role, the availability of a variety of condoms is expected to augur well for the growth of the market. According to a report by TMR, the China condom market was valued at US$1.84 bn in 2015 and is poised to reach US$5.04 bn by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 12% from 2016 to 2024.
Q.How are government initiatives affecting the China condom market?
Over the past few years, consumers’ attitudes towards reproductive health and sexuality have changed dramatically in China, thanks to government campaigns to increase awareness regarding sexual health. The increasing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Chlamydia has led to active endorsements of condoms by the government as an effective way of preventing these infections and diseases. The incidence rate is particularly high in college students and as a result, provinces such as Zhejiang have started installing free condom dispensing machines in their university campuses.
With China’s large population and restrictive laws on the number of children per couple, the condom market seemed to grow at an impeccable pace until the end of 2014. The overall sales of condoms in the country have been witnessing a decline since after the announcements regarding the termination of the one-child policy at the beginning of 2015. As a repercussion, the market shares of key vendors were adversely hampered by the end of 2015. Market shares of Okamoto Industries dropped by 24%, Female Health saw a dip in its share by 19%, and Church and Dwight witnessed a decline of 3%.
Q.Which trends are expected to propel the growth of the China condom market?
Though the present-day impact of the end of child policy is high on the market, it is estimated to get subdued in the long run. TMR analysts state that strategies such as product innovation and creative marketing techniques can help in spreading awareness to a larger consumer base regarding the preventive health benefits of using condoms. This will help manufacturers to exhibit a more sustainable growth rate in the forthcoming years.
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Currently, factors such as improving quality of lifestyles owing to strengthening economic conditions, increase in the country’s sexually active population, rising popularity of homosexual and female condoms are driving the growth of the China condom market.
Q.Which factor characterizes the competitive landscape of the China condom market?
The China condom market can be characterized as highly consolidated arena with a high competitive rivalry. Companies are investing largely in the development and advertising of innovative products. For instance, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, one of the top three manufacturers in China, has resorted to the development of off-center and novel products and marketing gimmicks to edge over their competitors and knock off the threat of counterfeits. It has started relying on social media to build its brand value.