Vision Council’s Latest VisionWatch Report Shows Rise In Consumer Purchasing In Q1

Vision Council’s Latest VisionWatch Report Shows Rise In Consumer Purchasing In Q1

July 09, 2021

The Vision Council has released its quarterly VisionWatch market research reports for Q1 of 2021, indicating that the U.S. vision correction industry generated $11.58 billion in sales revenue during the first quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 16.5 percent from Q1 2020 levels and an increase of 1.9 percent from Q1 2019 levels.

Additionally, total vision correction usage rose by 0.4 percent, an equivalent of 196.8 million adults, during the year-ending period March 2021.

On a 12-month basis, the Q1 reports indicate a 7.2 percent decline in the vision care market from March 2020 to March 2021 and $39.15 billion in retail revenues during the same period.

Designed exclusively for the vision care industry, the VisionWatch research reports are released on a quarterly basis and survey trends in consumer behavior regarding eye exams and eyewear, analyze developments in the U.S. eye care market, and provide key market and product category statistics.

To download the Q1 2021 reports, visit The Vision Council’s Research Download Center, here.

“The Q1 results indicate that the growth trends The Vision Council started observing in late 2020 have continued into early 2021 as many consumers continue to make eyewear purchases after postponing them during the early months of the pandemic,” said Steve Kodey, senior director of industry research at The Vision Council.

“Furthermore, increasing vaccination rates and growing comfort levels among the consumer population as it relates to returning to a physical retail environment have led to increasing sales of optical products among brick-and-mortar retailers.”

While over-the-counter reader and prescription sunwear usage increased slightly during the year-ending period March 2021, prescription eyeglass and plano sunglasses usage was primarily flat—with declines in relative usage as percent of the population, but with slight increases in absolute usage attributable to growth in the U.S. population.

Notable online sales findings that occurred during the 12-month period ending March 2021 include:

  • Online/internet sales of eyewear increased by 22.7 percent during the year-ending period March 2021—generating $3.73 billion worth of sales during that time period.
  • Online eyeglasses sales (frames and lenses combined) increased by 33 percent during the year-ending period of March 2021.

The Vision Council also gauges the overall level of Managed Vision Care (MVC) coverage among the U.S. adult population to better understand the evolving MVC landscape. MVC highlights featured in the Q1 results are as follows:

125.7 million US adults, or 48.3 percent of the US adult population, had some type of MVC coverage by March 2021, representing a decline of 3.2 percent or about 4 million fewer covered lines compared to March 2020.

Despite the decline in covered lives, usage of MVC continues to increase as consumers with MVC benefits are utilizing those benefits more than ever before.

75.9 percent of all adult eye exams conducted and 61 percent of all frames purchased during the 12ME period March 2021 (76.5 million exams and 42.7 million frame pairs, respectively) were purchased with the assistance of MVC.

The ongoing VisionWatch study provides The Vision Council’s members with exclusive insights into the optical marketplace’s current and historical trends, retailer shares, consumer traits and demographic breakdowns.

The Vision Council issues other topical research reports throughout the year that are available for purchase.

For more information on The Vision Council’s VisionWatch reports, and for member access to the Q1 2021 reports, visit The Vision Council’s Research Download Center, here.