Playground Brings Clean Sexual Wellness to Target & Secures New Funding

Playground was founded by Christina Aguilera (pictured) and CEO Catherine Magee and reportedly grew more than 700% in 2023.
Playground was founded by Christina Aguilera (pictured) and CEO Catherine Magee and reportedly grew more than 700% in 2023.

“Playground is speaking to the female consumer, who is the primary buyer, in an important way that legacy brands fail to do,' said Carli Sapir, founding partner of Amboy Street Ventures.“Playground is speaking to the female consumer, who is the primary buyer, in an important way that legacy brands fail to do," said Carli Sapir, founding partner of Amboy Street Ventures.PlaygroundSexual wellness brand Playground has expanded into Target and secured new funding. 

The Target expansion is in line with the retailer's greater focus on wellness.

It also follows Playground's previous retail expansions at Nordstrom, Revolve and Anthropologie.

Meanwhile, Playground has secured new funding from Palm Tree Crew Holdings, Fourward Ventures, Goddess Fun+d and Amboy Street Ventures.

The round also includes funding from notables such as Emily Morse, Ph.D., of Sex with Emily and Alex Cooper of Call Her Daddy. 

Playground was founded by Christina Aguilera, CEO Catherine Magee and chief product officer Sandy Vukovic; it reportedly grew more than 700% in 2023.

“We’re immensely excited to partner with a national retailer who shares our mission to bring better wellness to its customers,” said Magee. “Playground’s line of clean and healthy intimacy products is formulated with good-for-you ingredients and packaged to evoke confidence instead of shame. We’re thrilled to bring our brand of taboo-free fun that emphasizes health to the sexual enhancement aisle for today’s modern couple and woman.”

“Playground is speaking to the female consumer, who is the primary buyer, in an important way that legacy brands fail to do," said Carli Sapir, founding partner of Amboy Street Ventures. "By championing a health-centric approach to pleasure, Playground is leading a vital transformation within the industry. With our shared goal of lifting the stigma surrounding women’s health and ushering forward a new world of inclusive well-being, there are incredible synergies to our partnership.”

Magee recently spoke with Global Cosmetic Industry about the brand and the sexual wellness category's trajectory.

What does it mean that sexual wellness is now expanding into mainstream big box retail? 

Playground X TargetMagee: While big box retailers have carried sexual wellness products in the past, consumers have still felt hesitant and ashamed to use and buy these products. Unlike other aisles where customers are excited to shop, such as cosmetics, haircare, and skincare, this excitement is completely lacking because there has been little innovation, newness, or attention in the sexual enhancement aisle.

Our views at Playground–and these views are supported by a growing group of gynecologists–is that sexual pleasure and wellness is a vital part of our overall health and wellness. Playground puts this focus at the forefront of everything we do from product development to marketing and to the conversations we have with our customers, followers and retailers.

We consider ourselves a health and wellness brand with a mission and goal of changing the sexual enhancement aisle into one that celebrates sexual wellness and promotes better overall health. We also believe it’s important to give customers products from a brand that excites and supports them, and that is why we don’t shy away from being playful and fun.

Playground is challenging the status quo of this aisle with a brand focused on health and wellness yet still playful and fun, which we believe will give wellness-minded consumers products and options they have been waiting for.

Who is the typical Playground shopper? Is that changing/diversifying?

Playground Soldiers Date Night $20Magee: We believe broadly that sexual wellness is important for everyone, so we create healthy, clean, and clinically-formulated products, such as our Personal Lubricant and Intimacy Oil, that are good for everyone and everybody.

We do recognize, however, that women’s sexual health and reproductive needs are greater, and few innovative sexual health products have been developed to meet these specialized needs, therefore, we intentionally design and develop our products with women in mind.

We see growing interest from all ages and sexes, which is exciting. Sexual wellness is the last frontier of wellness and consumers are seeing how this piece of wellness can improve their overall well-being. We’ve been trained to think that the goal of sex is intercourse.

In actuality, it’s about connection. Intimate connection is vital for our health. The retailers who embrace this way of thinking and partner with brands like us to speak to consumers around these needs will not only capture more wellness-minded consumers, but pioneer this fast-growing wellness category.

What does it take for an upstart brand to attract investment in 2024?

Playground Love Sesh $20Magee: Raising capital for any CPG brand is challenging for various reasons including the need to allocate capital to produce inventory, and that the CPG venture capital universe is smaller compared to tech venture capital. Couple that with the fact that it's easier now than ever to develop products and launch a brand, and arguably as competitive as ever to reach consumers.

Despite these challenges, new consumer attitudes and desires for better, healthier products are presenting more opportunities for new brands today. Investors are already looking at these new areas of opportunities and will deploy capital if the category growth is large enough and if a brand can show that they have key competitive advantages to win that space.

We launched Playground only when we knew we had strong competitive advantages across product, marketing, and operations. I’m always excited when I see new brands and products launching with new innovations and new ways to reach customers. The more new brands that do this well, the more investors will be attracted to CPG investing which benefits us all.

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