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The Parallel Worlds of Hair Care

By: Rob Walker, Euromonitor International
Posted: July 9, 2012, from the August 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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And PZ Cussons’ purchase of male hair care and grooming brand Fudge was another boutique deal in a category where there is plenty of room for growth. Approximately half of Fudge’s sales were in the U.K. last year, and the other half in Australia and New Zealand.

Both Batiste and Fudge are low-impact players in the bigger hair care picture, but they present attractive value-enhancing potential in markets where growth in mainstream products is stymied. Crucially, they can expand into new territories under the control of bigger distribution systems.

Over the next five years, we could see more of this type of boutique M&A. Although a dominant share of new business will continue to be located in emerging markets, the battle for share is up for grabs in developed markets, and the development of niche categories, eco-friendly brands and products that showcase affordable pampering could make all the difference.

Ultimately, consumers put plenty of stock in looking good; to that end, they have a propensity to spend money on their hair, even when times are tough. In developed markets, that is the silver lining of opportunity. In emerging markets, it is the springboard for new product development, with the challenge of satisfying the preferences of numerous consumer groups.

Rob Walker, senior fast-moving consumer goods analyst, Euromonitor International, can be contacted at rob.walker@research7.euromonitor.com.