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Global launches of men’s grooming products witness strong rise

By Simon Pitman , 21-Sep-2011

Despite the scepter of the global economic downturn, the number of men’s grooming product launches worldwide has risen sharply since 2008, according to the latest data from Mintel.

The market research company says that its Global New Product Database (GNPD) shows the number of launches in the category worldwide stood at 5,000 launches in 2010, compared to a figure of 3,300 in 2008.

According to Mintel analyst Mika Lewis, who gave a presentation at last week’s Beyond Beauty show in Paris on the subject, one of the main driving force behind the new launches is the skin care category, which grew by 12 per cent in 2010, mainly driven by big brand names from company’s such as L’Oreal and Beiersdforf.

China leads the way in men's skin care

Meanwhile, on a geographic basis the growth was driven by many of the leading emerging markets, but specifically China, while in the developing market the UK has continued to see a particularly high level of launch activity.

Lewis pointed out that UK is often the first market in Europe to see new trends within the cosmetics category, which is why many of the big international players have chosen to launch new product lines in that country first.

Likewise, in China men’s skin care continues to grow on the back of increased spending power on the back of a still thriving economy, while the growing importance of the skin whitening niche continues to elevate skin care sales as a whole.

India proves imporant for deodorant and fragrance launches

As well as China, India is also proving to be an increasingly important market for men’s grooming products in Asia, with a 40 per cent growth in global launches of men’s fragrances and a 37 per cent rise in global soap and bath products both being driven by activity in the sub-continent.

Lewis pointed out that in the Indian market deodorants are also likely to continue to see high levels of launch activity in the future, while elsewhere in Asia, Vietnam and Japan should see a high level of hair care launches, while China could see as much as a 40 per cent increase in skin care launches in the year head.

Interestingly sports sponsorship of big brands is proving increasingly popular in different parts of Asia, including the Super Kings Deodorant in India, which is linked to the national sport of cricket, while Head & Shoulders has been launched with a number of sports personality endorsements in different Asia Pacific markets.

South Korea proves to be forward-looking

Lewis also pointed to the fact that the South Korean market highlights some of the most metrosexual male grooming product launches worldwide, highlighted by a plethora of highly innovative product launches in the country, together with what is believed to be the world’s first make-up centre for men, which opened recently in Seoul.

In Europe, the GNPD highlights sophisticated launches from French companies that include Mont Blanc Ledend EdT, fragrance and Sisely Men Global Revitaliser anti-ageing product for men claims to stimulate collagen production.

As well as being known for innovation, Lewis also stressed the fact that launches in the UK have also set the standard for vintage-look, upscale and quirky products, including the Murdock post-shave balm and the Mr Natty Moustache Twizzle Wax.

In the Americas, US company Kiehl launched its Fuel Transfomer age correcting gel, while another 'Transformer' launched in the market is the Miracle Skin Transformer for men. The Miracle Skin product is a hydrating and correcting formulation that makes the unusual claim to be a silicone-based treatment, going against the trend for silicone-free formulations.

Lastly in the red hot market of Brazil the fast growing youth market is proving to be a key driving factor to high growth. This is highlighted by funky new brands that are specifically targeted at teens, including Nionde Biog and Biotropic Spider Man Conditioner.

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