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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.

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Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) are highly important for the industry, as they alone currently account for 16% of the total global value sales in male grooming, up from 13% in 2003. All four nations have experienced rapidly growing wealth and growing acceptance of male beauty habits, but Brazil leads due to strong demand for value added men’s shaving products and men’s toiletries such as hair care products, which are more expensive than the basic products that dominate sales in the other BRIC countries.

Men’s grooming products saw 14% current value growth in 2008 in China. The major consumer purchasing group for men’s grooming products continued to shift from girlfriends or wives to men themselves. The recent launch of FHM in China (which features the latest new personal care products for men) helped to spread the acceptability of male grooming and contributed to the strong current value growth in male toiletries.

Major Players Focus on Emerging Regions

The global heavyweights in the industry have recognized the development potential offered by consumers outside the traditional focal regions, and several have begun to develop their business in these countries, with a view to long-term growth. Procter & Gamble has recently turned its attention to the Mexican market, and began building a $250 million plant for the production of Gillette razors and blades in Guanajuato, Mexico, in May 2009. The move will create 2,400 new jobs, and the plant will supply North and South America—as well as parts of Europe and Asia.

Beiersdorf is focusing its marketing efforts on pushing the Nivea for Men brand in men’s skin care in China. In May 2009, it opened a new production plant to manufacture body care products in Shanghai, China. The plant cost approximately €18 million, and the capacity is eventually expected to reach up to 25,000 tons per year to continue to meet the growing demand for personal care products in the region.

In May 2009, L’Oréal shifted its focus to the BRIC nations by launching Garnier Men in India—the first market in what will become a global launch. The range features skin-whitening cream for men, and the brand is promoted by the Bollywood star John Abraham. It will compete for sales in the lucrative male skin-whitening market against the aforementioned current leading brand—Fair and Handsome, owned by Emami.