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Masculine Dynamism—Men’s Care Growing Fast

Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
  • Approximately $4 billion will be added to the global value size of men’s grooming by 2014.
  • Skin care was the star category for men’s products in 2009, with growth of 7%, and is beginning to emulate the trends in female skin care.
  • Europe remains the largest region for the male-specific category.
  • The Brazilian market is key to global value sales, accounting for 9% of the industry. However, sales of men’s skin care and bath and shower categories are negligible.
  • Men’s antiagers is a particular area of male skin care that is showing very strong potential for the future.
  • As brands introduce more male-specific products, retailers are responding with male-specific beauty sections.

According to Euromonitor International, men’s grooming is set to be one of the fastest-growing categories in beauty and personal care, predicted to add approximately $4 billion to its global value size by 2014. Sales are set to rise thanks to changing attitudes among men globally about grooming and a shift in key emerging regions away from manual work toward white-collar jobs.

Western Europe; North America Continue to Dominate in Men’s Sales

The U.S. commands the highest value sales, accounting for an 18% share of the global $27 billion men’s grooming in 2009, but it is showing signs of slowing growth as an after-effect of the recession, and Western Europe remains the largest region for the male-specific category because of strong sales in the French, German and U.K. markets. The region is set to continue to see strong growth, adding more than $800 million to its size by 2014 as men in the region move beyond basic products related to shaving to more sophisticated grooming regimens that incorporate numerous skin care and post-shave products.

Key Emerging Regions Set to Drive Global Growth

Emerging regions are typified by low penetration and low usage of men’s grooming products compared to developed regions. Per capita spend is less than $7 per year in most parts of the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia. Despite this, the emerging regions are gaining in importance for the category, and showing rapid rates of expansion. Latin America posted stronger value growth in 2009 of 15%, while the Middle East and Africa achieved a 14% increase.

Brazil Offers Excellent Opportunities

The Brazilian market is key to global value sales, accounting for 9% of the industry. It registered value growth of 12% in 2009 to reach $2.3 billion. Despite the size of the market, sales of men’s skin care and bath and shower categories are both negligible, as the strong machismo culture in the country means Brazilian men still very much opt for traditional male products. Shaving and deodorants are the two major contributors to total sales, accounting for 90% of the market. The category has huge future growth potential thanks to rapidly rising disposable incomes, and persuading consumers to trade up should be a major priority for men’s grooming players in the country.

Deodorants Among Key Products in Global Sales

Along with razors and blades, deodorants comprise the overwhelming majority of sales globally—the three product types combined accounted for a 39% value share of total men’s grooming in 2009. Other categories in men’s care are still in their infancy in many regions, but are seeing dynamic growth rates. Facing weak growth opportunities in razors and blades in some of the more mature markets, brand owners are expected to continue their push to develop male-specific product categories—leveraging the fact that male consumer’s mindset about beauty has shifted and the well-groomed male is likely to remain.

Strong Growth in Skin Care, But From a Small Base

Men’s skin care was the star category in 2009, with growth of 7%, and is beginning to emulate the trends in female skin care—with many products now featuring antiaging, SPF and self-tanning properties. There is much room for further growth in the category. While recognizing the importance of a skin care regimen, many men do not feel comfortable about buying a female or unisex version of such an overtly feminine product, and this is set to keep male skin care sales strong. Skin care will continue to outperform other men’s grooming categories through 2014. Men’s skin care is the most dynamic category in most regions, mimicking the product types seen in women’s skin care.

Men’s antiagers is a particular area of male skin care that is showing very strong potential for the future. Signs of aging are a growing concern for men, especially those in youth-obsessed industries such as advertising. While older men, the key target audience for antiagers, are still reluctant to enter male beauty aisles, they are an attractive potential market.

Hair Care Value Growth Lags Behind Skin Care

Despite strong growth rates seen in most other categories of men’s grooming, men’s hair care is developing at a slower pace, growing by just 4% in value terms in 2009—a weaker performance than the 5% registered by men’s grooming as a whole. Men’s hair care still accounts for a bigger chunk of sales than skin care, at $2.9 billion in 2009 compared to skin care’s $1.8 billion. However, skin care is set to outpace hair care before long. Male skin care is set to add $950 million to its value size by 2014 compared to just over $580 million for men’s hair care, meaning that men’s skin care is undoubtedly the star performer in men’s grooming.

One of the key reasons behind this is the perception by many men that it is acceptable to simply use unisex shampoo, or their existing shower gel. Furthermore, hair care as a whole was also one of the categories to suffer most during the global economic downturn, and trends in men’s grooming frequently mimic trends in the beauty market as a whole.

This meant that just as consumers opted for buy-one-get-one-free offers and private label in hair care, men’s hair care also saw consumers trading back down to unisex products. Male-specific skin care also reflects what is happening in the overall skin care market—that is to say, sales are booming. Male-specific skin care grew in 2009, registering 7% value growth.

Target Men’s Grooming for Cross-category Shifts

A common recession and post-recession tactic is to diversify product ranges into categories that offer better opportunities. A number of companies have made men’s grooming their top priority, thanks to its strong future growth potential—even in mature markets. Additionally, many areas of men’s grooming have proven to be relatively resilient to trading down during the recession.

In 2010, Unilever has expanded its Dove brand into men’s grooming, introducing Dove Men + Care in the U.S., Italy and the U.K. Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, beefed up its presence in the rapidly growing male skin care category in March 2010 with Fusion ProSeries—a range of male skin care products, including a moisturizer with SPF, to target the growing army of image-conscious young men.

Beiersdorf recently launched a male antiager for the under eye area, called Revitalising Q10 Eye Roller. Although male-specific skin care remains a comparative niche globally, the category is one of the most dynamic in the industry, and antiagers even more so. Value growth in male skin care (5%) far outstripped overall growth in beauty and personal care (2%) in Western Europe in 2009. The product perfectly taps into the growing acceptance among men in affluent Western regions of male beauty regimens that go beyond the basics.

Meanwhile, L’Oréal is focusing its attention on male-specific hair care. The French beauty company launched Kérastase Homme Capital Force in April 2010, a salon product aimed at targeting the problem of male hair loss.

Dedicated Retail Areas to Drive Sales

As brands introduce more male-specific products to the market, retailers are responding with male-specific beauty sections. Behavioral studies show that men dislike too many options, preferring simple solutions. Moving products such as men’s skin care from the female skin care aisle to a section of the store in which men feel more comfortable shopping is an excellent tactic that is already being employed by some retailers. At the beginning of 2010, H-E-B, a U.S. regional grocery chain, went a step further and launched Men’s Zone, a male-specific beauty aisle in several of its stores. The aisle displays all the products targeted at men in one easy-to-shop space that also offers a television sports channel and masculine blue lighting.

Outlook: Major Bright Spot for the Beauty Industry

Men’s grooming is set to add an additional $3.9 billion to its value size by 2014. As attitudes to the concept of masculinity change, and the use of male-specific products becomes the norm for men around the world, this will continue to provide new opportunities, particularly in categories such as deodorants and skin care—which are set to grow by approximately $970 and $950 million, respectively, by 2014. As a result, the category is set to see a good deal of investment from major players over the mid to long term.

Carrie Lennard is a research analyst at Euromonitor International.

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