German group Condomi, Europe’s largest condom manufacturer, claims it is about to ignite a UK price war by undercutting established brands by up to 80 per cent.
It is entering the UK consumer retail market through a deal with distributor Ceuta Healthcare to obtain listings in supermarkets, wholesalers and Boots the Chemist.
Condomi claims the UK’s poor record on unwanted teenage pregnancies – it has the highest in Europe – and the increasing number of heterosexual HIV infections are linked to the high cost of condoms.
The market is dominated by Durex, which has a 70 per cent market share, and Mates, with about 20 per cent. Neither company was available for comment.
The Condomi range of six condom variants will cost £1.99 for a pack of three. This compares with £3.99 for Durex Gold, while Durex Fetherlite and Mates Ribbed cost £2.25 for a pack of three. Durex Select, a mixed pack, costs £3.24 for three.
The German group aims to take ten per cent of the market by the end of the year, supported by a £1m budget – equivalent to that of Durex.
It will launch a radio campaign – created in-house – in April.
Condomi director Ralph Patmore says: “Condom prices here are far higher than in the rest of Europe – they don’t need to be that expensive. For teenagers, condoms are expensive, and they could have a pint of beer instead.”