Men’s Changing Beauty Habits

September 23rd, 2012

IntroArticle_BlogAnalyst Insight By Irina Barbalova, Global Head of
Beauty and Personal Care Research at Euromonitor International

As the beauty industry enters the
pre-holiday season with timid expectations for the sales performance of the
last quarter, all eyes are on those vibrant categories which have generated
momentum in the past year. Alongside star performers such as nail polish and,
unsurprisingly, anti-agers, men’s grooming has once again come to the spotlight
and seen a flurry of activity both in terms of increased marketing and
advertising efforts, as well as many brands expanding their product ranges with
more targeted offerings. Seemingly recession-proof, the male grooming category
has demonstrated a consistent performance throughout the recent years of
economic instability, having increased its global revenues by an average of 6%
per annum since 2006, to reach close to US$ 33billion in 2011. Click to Tweet!

While the market is still marginally skewed
towards men’s shaving (51% of the total category in 2011), the landscape is
gradually changing, with men’s toiletries predicted to take over in 2013 and
contribute double the revenue of men’s shaving in the period between 2012 to
2016.  Click to Tweet! Deodorants still lead toiletries
in absolute value terms, with large reliance on Latin America, however skin
care has proven the most dynamic, putting up double digit growth in five
consecutive years and adding an extra US$2 billion to the global beauty market
since 2006.

Male grooming habits across the world are
certainly not homogenous, with Asian men having a definitive preference for
skin care products, while Brazilian men’s spend on deodorants not only tops the
world but represents double that of North America. Click to Tweet! One common factor that
defines category dynamics, however, is the fact that men, either urged by
employment instability or greater media impetus or other, are finding the
activity of looking after their appearance and adopting a beauty routine ever
more appealing. This has coincided with the release of numerous new products at
different price points, from male-targeted shampoos, to men’s specific eye
treatments and even Blemish Balm creams and concealers, inspired from the
female market.

Whether a significant proportion of men are
prepared to search for and spend on such products, enough to swivel the
category into a double-digit growth curve, is yet to be witnessed. Nonetheless,
there are some parallels to be drawn with other associated consumer industries,
which indicate a shift in consumption patterns. Looking at men’s apparel, the
market is undergoing a marked revival and outpacing growth of its female
counterpart; just as rapid-growth markets such as South Korea and China are
seeing stronger per capita spend in men’s designer outerwear compared to that
of women’s. Maybe unsurprisingly, the same markets also rank highest in men’s
skin care expenditure. So while not a true testament, some clear assumptions
are safe to be made as to the changing buying habits and attitudes towards
fashion and beauty among men, particularly in the premium segment.

Furthermore, revenue growth opportunities
in men’s grooming go far beyond traditional products. As a recent Euromonitor
International survey
among young men aged 15-29 suggests, the key factor to a
happy life is “being healthy”, but more interestingly over a third of those
interviewed confirmed that among other health related activities they take
supplements at least once a week. The scope to innovate and diversify in the
health and wellness environment, both among beauty players, as well as food and
drink manufactures is immense and one to be explored. There is still much
untapped potential to develop ingestible products, be it fortified drinks or
dietary supplements with additional beauty attributes, and more importantly
those that target specific concerns, such as hair loss, problem skin or weight
loss. Multi functionality and proof of high efficacy in such propositions
should be key, as these would tend to be the main characteristics that men
expect from a product.


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Lydia Gordon