Men’s grooming : ‘mover and shaker’ of the beauty market

Men’s Grooming is truly a ‘mover and shaker’ of the global beauty and personal care scene – seemingly immune to economic uncertainties around the world. Latest forecasts suggest men’s toiletries sales will overtake shaving as early as 2013. So what is driving this big shift ?

Changing attitudes of men to personal appearance

In an environment where employment is unstable, good grooming represents a potential advantage in the competitive workplace. This is reinforced by media focus upon appearance, grooming and products used to support them. Even older male consumers have a desire to maintain a youthful appearance without undermining their masculinity.

Broadening the appeal from shaving to toiletries

As the established category with a higher take up, shaving has less headroom to grow organically than toiletries such as skincare and deodorants.  NPD Group estimate that 75% of US men over 18 do not use any facial skincare products whereas over 90% use more ‘broadly’ defined grooming products (presumably shaving based).

A regional dimension

Growth in male grooming is not ubiquitous however. A previous blog (Men’s Skincare Goes Glocal) identified some specific needs from markets around the world such as male skincare with whitening benefits in selected Asian markets. While skincare represents the star growth category in the Asian region, deodorants growth is key in Brazil.

The trend is not restricted to packaged goods either. Men’s grooming tools (electric shavers and trimmers) enjoy double digit revenue growth in the US and are rapidly extending into new markets. A recent launch example from Gillette is shown and illustrates popularity in markets where the unshaved look is more on trend.

Old habits die hard

Not all male consumers have embraced the metrosexual trend wholeheartedly however. Recent studies from research experts Mintel suggest that 69% of male consumers still look for their usual brand when purchasing cosmetics and toiletries. Furthermore, there is still a tendency for men to assess products, advertising and packaging in a rational way – i.e does this product provide functional, simple and real benefits to address problems ?

It’s not all about the BRICs

One final word of caution however. Media coverage would lead one to believe that all the growth is coming from the BRICs markets. While it is true that the compound growth from these markets is between +4-10% for the next 4 years, the single largest value growth for men’s grooming will be the US. Other markets showing Top 10 value growth has a more ‘old world’ look about it  –i.e Germany, Japan, UK, Turkey, Spain.

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