India

Is there really a market for pickle flavoured condoms in India?

Achaari condoms Image copyright Manforce condoms

An Indian company has launched something which seems almost mad in its lack of appeal - a pickle flavoured condom.

The latest offering by Manforce condoms is the latest gimmick to hit a surprisingly crowded novelty condom market.

Durex alone already has an aubergine flavoured offering in India, along with the more "traditional" strawberry, banana and so on.

But though pickle or "achaari" has a special place in Indian cuisine, with every region having its own variant, it's not widely considered synonymous with romance.

So predictably, a lot of people had a lot to say about it on social media:

So is India really ready for a pickle flavoured condom?

"Such campaigns are mostly so that companies can make the news and draw attention to their business," Sunil Lulla, the head of Grey ad agency, told the BBC, adding that only the company would be able to say if these gimmicks actually translated into sales.

"However if it is spicing up sexual enjoyment and conversation around safe sex in India, then such efforts should be encouraged."

"I think Manforce has been very smart about this and it shows they know their audience," Indian columnist Rajyasree Sen told the BBC, adding that the company did not seem to be targeting the upper demographic with their latest offering.

"But the million dollar question is, what pickle are they talking about? Lime? Chilli? How do they know the flavour they are using will appeal to every Indian? Have they really thought this through?"

Personally, Ms Sen said she would never consider using a pickle flavoured condom, but said she could see it selling among certain segments like "Delhi students".

"I only hope there is no vinegar in it, because then that would cause a lot of problems."

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