You know what they say: if it’s not on, it’s not on. Last year, 10% of Australian adults bought condoms in any given six months, slightly down on 2012 (11%). So far, so safe. However, while condom sales remain relatively stable, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal some interesting trends among the type of people buying them.
Not surprisingly, men make up 57% of total condom buyers, with 12% of all men over 18 buying them in an average six-month period. Women make up the other 43% of buyers, with 9% of them purchasing condoms in the same time frame.
Perhaps less expected is the wide gap between male and female buyers in the under-25 age group. While 24% of males under 25 bought condoms in an average six-month period during 2013, just 15% of young women did the same.
Among 25-34 year-olds, the gap narrows dramatically, with 23% of males and 21% of females buying condoms. This age group also comprises the largest proportion of total buyers, accounting for 41% of all Australians purchasing them.
Staying safe: Australia’s condom buyers by age/gender
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Australians18+ (January 2013 – December 2013), n=17,761
More prophylactic demographics
More than half (55%) of buyers have a diploma or degree, and 15% are currently at university. While this can be partially ascribed to the age groups most likely to buy condoms, academics around the world have highlighted the link between education and the use of contraceptives.
Employment status also seems to have some bearing: 13% of people in paid employment bought condoms in an average six months, while only 6% of those without a job did.
Chemist or supermarket?
When it comes to place of purchase, supermarkets are far more popular than pharmacies or anywhere else, regardless of the buyer’s age, education or employment status. Of all adult Australians who bought condoms last year, 67% did so in a supermarket and 21% in a chemist. The relative ease and anonymity of a supermarket transaction compared to a chemist’s more personalised service would almost certainly have something to do with this.
After all, despite their widespread use, condoms are not a subject most of us tend to discuss with a perfect stranger…
Angela Smith, Group Account Director - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Condom purchases over the last two years have remained fairly stable. However, a more nuanced picture emerges when we look at the buyer profiles for this product, with noticeable differences among gender, age groups, education and employment status.
“Nevertheless, these categories remain quite broad, and some marketers may prefer a more refined understanding of their target buyers, particularly in such a sensitive and challenging market. Roy Morgan’s revolutionary new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can provide just this — pinpointing different consumers with unprecedented detail.
“For instance, 25% of people who fall under the ‘Social Flyer’ persona purchased condoms in the last 6 months: well above the national average. Typically young, single and highly educated, Social Flyers tend to live in trendy inner-city areas and enjoy all the perks associated with this — including the fast-paced nightlife and bar scene."
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Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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