Latest News The Vision Council Q3 2021 Report Reflects Strong U.S. Market Sales, Significant Growth in Online Sales By Staff Friday, January 7, 2022 12:24 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council has released its quarterly VisionWatch market research reports for Q3 2021 and the reports reflect a strong performance for overall U.S. optical market sales for the 12-month period ending September 2021. The Q3 report indicates that $46.45 billion worth of eyewear was purchased during that time period, representing a 24.0 percent increase over the 12-month period ending September 2020 and 6.3 percent increase over the 12-month period ending September 2019. Steve Kodey, senior director of industry research at The Vision Council, said, “The third quarter of 2021 was one of the strongest quarters we have seen in recent memory with over $12.27 billion in U.S. optical market sales generated on an individual quarter basis. This represents an increase of 15.8 percent compared to a relatively strong Q3 2020 as the market rebounded from a difficult first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Q3 2021 sales were up 4.7 percent over Q3 2019.” Kodey added, “Unit sales of eyewear were up 14.2 percent over Q3 2020 levels and up 1.5 percent over Q3 2019 levels. This rise appears to be primarily attributable to the increasing number of eyewear users in the market,, specifically Rx sun and contact lens wearers, as well as an increase in multiple pair purchases. In addition, there was an increase in eyewear purchase frequency among existing eyewear users who had previously bought eyewear two to five years ago.”The accelerated shift to online eyewear sales prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be evident in the VisionWatch results, Kodey pointed out. Notable findings about online sales that occurred during the 12-month period ending September 2021 include: Source: The Vision Council Consumer Barometer, 12 Months Ending Sept. 2021 Online sales of all eyewear increased by 26.3 percent during the 12-month ending period September 2021, generating $4.00 billion in revenue during that time. The Vision Council clarified to VMAIL that “Eyewear” includes: frames, lenses, contact lenses, plano SG and OTC readers. Rx sun is included in frame and lens figures.Online sales of eyeglass frames and lenses increased by 42.8 percent and 34.6 percent, respectively, during the 12-month period ending September 2021. This totaled $830 million in revenue for frames and $1.1 billion in revenue for lenses. In other words, The Vision Council clarified to VMAIL, online sales of frames and lenses total $1.93 billion as a part of the total online eyewear sales of $4 billion. Further, overall online eyewear sales represented 8.62 percent of the industry's overall sales for the 12 months ending Sept. 2021 and all online sales accounted for 8.46 percent of total industry revenue for the 12 months ending Sept. 2020. Online eyeglasses unit pair sales, frames and lenses combined, increased by 34.0 percent during the 12-month ending period September 2021. Source: The Vision Council Consumer Barometer, 12 Months Ending Sept. 2021 The Vision Council research 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 Q3 results include: 126.9 million U.S. adults, or 48.6 percent of the U.S. adult population, had some type of MVC coverage by September 2021, representing an increase of 0.9 percent or approximately 1.17 million more covered lives compared to September 2020.The increase in MVC coverage among the U.S. adult population has mirrored the increase in MVC utilization for eye exam and eyewear transactions over the past year. MVC benefits were used in 75.7 percent of all adult eye exams and 60.9 percent of all frames purchases during the 12-month ending period September 2021, including full and partial MVC coverage. This represents an increase in MVC utilization for both eye exams and eyewear transactions compared with the 12-month ending period September 2020. Source: The Vision Council Consumer Barometer, 12 Months Ending Sept. 2021The Vision Council's 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. eyecare market, and provide key market and product category statistics. To download the full array Q3 2021 reports, visit The Vision Council's Research Download center here.