Red light therapy and infrared therapy is heating up

Red light and infrared therapy was one of the hottest health trends during the 2022 holiday season. Grips digs into the data to see what it's all about.
3 min read
13 April 2023

Infrared and red light therapy (RLT), a type of therapy that uses infrared radiation to penetrate deep into tissue to stimulate cellular activity at a molecular level, received a surge in consumer interest in 2022. The Google Trends chart below reveals that there was a spike in online search around the therapy in the United States last April and then a bigger, more sustained, rise in interest beginning in September and continuing into 2023.

One likely explanation for this surge in interest in red light therapy was Tucker Carlson’s controversial take on red light therapy on men’s, um, nether regions, which coincided with increased interest. (Here’s a little background.) No matter your predisposition on the validity of red light therapy, there is no shortage of content debunking, validating and even straddling the line between both criticism and pseudo-validation of red light therapy treatment.

“Interesting trend,” you might say. “But why is Grips writing about this?” 

Well, it just so happens that Grips has some interesting transactional data relevant to the topic that we wanted to shine some light on. Specifically, Grips data shows that companies specializing in red light and infrared therapy were the fastest growing sub-segment of the Health category during the 2022 holiday season with revenues increasing by a factor of over 2X versus the previous two months. Furthermore, a new red light therapy report estimates that the light therapy market, which includes red, blue and white light applications, will grow to $1.2 billion by 2028. So we think you’re going to be hearing a lot about this treatment in the months and years ahead. 

After seeing the strong category growth, we wanted to dig deeper into several leading brands measured by the Grips Competitive Intelligence tool, including TheraSage, Platinum Therapy Lights, Joovv and Mito Red Light. These brands saw a burst of revenue, especially in October and November. In fact, both TheraSage and Mito Red Light more than doubled their revenue while Platinum Therapy Lights and Joovv grew at a more modest pace.

Let’s chart out the revenue performance to showcase the peaks and valleys of the major players in the red light & infrared category. What’s clear is that Therasage skyrocketed in November and Joovv and Platinum Therapy Lights’ peak revenue occurred in January, suggesting that Therasage benefitted the most from holiday shopping while Joovv and Platinum Therapy Lights benefitted from the post-holiday surge within the therapy lights industry.

Looking at the aggregated period from August 2022 through January 2023, Grips identified that Mito Red Light (35%) and Platinum Therapy Lights (32%) captured more than two-thirds of the revenue amongst these four red light therapy brands. Consumers spent the most, on average, on Mito Red Light ($870) and Platinum Therapy Lights ($848) while Therasage and Joovv both had average order values closer to $500.

The recent success of these red light therapy manufacturers may point to opportunities for new entrants in the year ahead as well as an opportunity for retailers to add these products to their assortment. Our gut tells us that they’re likely to be a hot holiday item again in 2023 and beyond, and you don’t want to be left in the dark.

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