2020-10-29 11:56News

COVID alert system sees alcohol and sex toys soar in the UK

Wine and spiritsWine and spirits

Boris Johnson’s announcement of the new three tier system, aiming to control the spread of the coronavirus, has caused an unusually saucy spike in searches over the past month in the UK.

Taking a look at the product categories with the biggest growth between September and October, PriceRunner found a large interest for sex toys, which was up by 128% in October compared to the previous month. Searches also increased on beds and matrasses by 286%, as well as massage and relaxation products, by 150%.

Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner said:

“With the Governments’ new rules restricting how we can socialise with people not in our household or support bubble, we have seen a large increase in searches for sex toys, beds and matrasses, as well as relaxation products. Consumers want to improve their time spent at home. Some might be preparing for a less social winter, while some are making investments to improve their current bedroom furniture and ways to relax at home”.

The new rules will impact those living in an area with a “high” or “very high” COVID alert level, as they can’t meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble indoors, neither at home or in a public indoor space. This means it will be much harder for anyone wanting to bring a date home or going to theirs under new restrictions.

PriceRunner took a closer at the products with the biggest growth between September and October, finding significant increases in several larger product categories such as toys, fragrances, beer, wine & spirits, but also on several smaller categories such as sex toys and alcohol.

Categories showing strong ove the past month were:

September October growth

September October growth


“Not only are consumers preparing for a lonelier winter with more time spent at home and away from pubs and bars, consumers are also stocking up on things to make time spent at home more enjoyable. We have seen a large increase in popularity for things such as wine and spirits, bakeware, toys for children, as well as fragrances and perfumes.” said Christine Gouldthorp.  

To find out more about PriceRunner, browse between the latest deals or read our expert product reviews, please visit Pricerunner.com.

About PriceRunner

PriceRunner is the UK's independent price comparison service with over 1,600,000 products from more than 5,000 retailers. PriceRunner was founded in 1999 and is primarily active in Sweden, Denmark and the UK. We are a team of 150 ambitious PriceRunners who work to develop the most loved service for comparison shopping. PriceRunner is completely independent; we are not owned by or dependent on any manufacturer, retailer or other organisation that might have an interest in providing biased information. PriceRunner's mission is to help consumers find better products and better prices. Every month we help hundreds of thousands of consumers to find better, cheaper products and save money by comparing prices for a particular product.