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Men’s Grooming Booming

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: November 9, 2009, from the November 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

In 2008, men’s grooming was worth $26 billion globally, accounting for 8% of the total global cosmetics and toiletries market, and this total is set to rise. While the more mature markets, such as the U.K., are beginning to show signs of reaching maturity, the rise of the metrosexual male in emerging markets is fueling sales. Recognizing this shift, multinationals have been focusing their efforts increasingly on men’s lines in a bid to counteract ailing sales in other categories of their personal care product portfolio—and are starting to look for opportunities in new markets.

Feminization of Men’s Products

The difference in male and female personal care is becoming increasingly blurred. A definite pattern has emerged in men’s grooming, whereby the category mimics trends in the wider market as a whole, particularly in skin care. A possible benefit of this is that the products that are currently being mimicked can be used to give an indication of which direction the male grooming market is likely to take next.

Fair and Handsome, the male skin-whitening brand launched in 2005 in India, has seen its share growing in the country year on year. This product mimics the long standing trend for female skin-whitening products in the country. While the brand reached an impressive $13 million in sales in 2008, its sales are still only worth 4% of Fair and Lovely’s, the number one selling female skin-whitening product in India. Its endorsement by Shahrukh Khan, the ubiquitous Bollywood actor, has helped to overcome male reluctance about using a product with strong female connotations. It is likely that within five to 10 years, sales of male skin-whitening products could reach similar levels of value sales as female skin whiteners.

In Western markets, the trend for tanning products, long present in the general market, has taken off in the male specific market—with products such as L’Oréal Men Expert, a gradual tanning moisturizer, proving successful, especially in the U.K. market. As with Fair and Handsome, the product mimics a best-selling product in the general female market (Johnson & Johnson’s Holiday Skin) and the countless copycat gradual tanning moisturizers it spawned.