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Changing Patterns, BRIC Countries Leading Growth in Global Male Grooming

Posted: January 30, 2013

The global male grooming products market has rebounded back to its growth path with most significant growth occurring in Asian regions, with India in particular posting a 32% increase in 2012, according to the recently published Male Grooming Products: Global Market Brief by consulting and research firm Kline & Company. A growing consciousness among men concerning their appearance combined with an increasing awareness regarding the benefits of products specific to men are a driving force behind the market’s triumph. Old habits of little beyond a cursory cleaning and shaving regime or of using wives’ products are finally giving way, consequently strengthening the growth of men’s skin care products.

While Europe is the largest market for male grooming products, Asia—fueled by two distinct paradigms—is posting the highest growth. The advanced markets of Japan and South Korea are benefiting from male grooming, including the use of cosmetics, as an entrenched socially encouraged practice wherein men are seeking to retain a youthful and appealing look. By contrast, within China and India, male grooming as a trend has only recently been developing its significant potential and is being assisted by greater disposable income among consumers.

Although the European male grooming market is growing at a comparatively slower pace, products are generally more sophisticated and leading brands vary from country to country. The leading male grooming industry marketers in Europe's strongest market of Germany are Nivea for Men, L’Oréal Men Expert and DM's Balea Men.

“Our extensive research has revealed a myriad of exciting developments,” notes Nancy Mills, Kline's consumer products practice industry manager. “One that strikes most, revealed in the consumer part of the research, concerns the major cultural shift observed across all age groups of men in countries previously reluctant to extend male grooming beyond basic cleaning and shaving. Essentially, this is opening up a largely untapped market that consists of half the population.”

The consumer research comprising of responses on the topic of grooming from more than 1,500 males between the ages of 15 and 69 spanning six core countries also reveals actionable granularity, such as the least popular market for conditioners is Germany, while demand for hair styling mousse is highest in China.

Category strength continues to vary between regions. Deodorants and antiperspirants is the largest and most fragmented category across the globe. Partly due to a tendency to utilize deodorant sheets instead of a Western style spray/solid/gel/roll-on formats, the category is weakest in some Asian countries. However, the category’s growth numbers in these countries also reveals a move towards Western-preferred formats.

Regarding male grooming products distribution channels, the dominating popularity of mass merchandisers can be seen across all categories and countries. Alternate channels are also changing the male grooming products retail landscape, with Internet shopping making great gains. In China, men are also the highest frequenters of upscale department stores, with 29% of Chinese respondents saying that’s where they shop for skin care products.