If there’s one brand that has made its mark in the U.S. market, it has to be Lifestyles. Originally produced by Akwell Ind./Alabama, the brand was later sold to Ansell International. The company is known for providing quality health products to college health centers, healthcare agencies and Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Apart from the U.S., Lifestyles condoms have also become a popular brand in Australia. Since 1984 when Ansell first sold its condoms to this land down under, the brand has succeeded in capturing a significant share of the market and in three years’ time, it has become a household name and a market leader.
In the European continent, Lifestyles has established its name as well. Since the 1980’s, it has been a leader not only in Hungary but in other markets.
Unknown to some people, this brand has done several firsts in the industry. Firstly, it was the very first to target women unlike the others which often target the males.
Secondly, Lifestyles was the first to advertise not on a regular TV program but on MTV (Music Television). In line with this, it aired more than 800 commercials on the same program for its campaign.
Thirdly, it was the first condom manufacturer that put up a website on the internet. The site is very interactive and provides vast information about the company, its products and how they’re made as well as tips for consumers including where to buy the company’s condoms. Additionally, the company provides details about its Campaign for Great Sex without having to fear getting the STDs and causing unwanted pregnancy. There’s also a tutorial on the importance of using a condom and the ways to properly use it.
Lifestyles ensures the quality of its condoms all the time. From the time it obtains its raw materials to creating and testing the products, the company makes sure that it meets the international standards.
The condoms of Lifestyles are made from latex. During the production process, the products go through the statistical process control (SPC) checks to verify the quality. Samples are then taken and tested in a variety of stages. These tests include the dipping, electronic testing, packaging and the final testing.
The dipping process involves filling a condom with 300 ml of water and checked for leaks and defects. It is also monitored for its thickness, length and weight. The electronic testing stage checks for pinholes and involves subjecting the condoms to high voltage of electricity.
The packaging process comes next and during this stage, the condoms are selected. They are then water tested for pinholes, provide with a verification lot number and expiry date. From there, a vacuum test is conducted for the packs.
The final stage tests the condoms for resistance to aging. This involves putting them in the oven at high temperatures.
Apart from the company’s testing procedures done at the condom manufacturing plant, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also conducts its G.M.P. inspection. Other quality checks include calibration of equipment, audits, validations and investigation of complaints from consumers.