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Korean cosmetics market is attractive for men’s grooming brands

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 29-Jan-2013
Last updated the 28-Jan-2013 at 22:31 GMT

Bulldog product on sale in Korea's Olive Young
Bulldog product on sale in Korea's Olive Young

Men’s natural skin care firm Bulldog has continued to roll its products out into new markets across the world; this time targeting South Korea, as the grooming trend grows.

Speaking exclusively to CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com, company co-founder Simon Duffy revealed it has been an ‘exciting’ launch as men’s care begins to take off in the country.

“We look for key things in each market we enter,” he said. “It is still early days in South Korea, but we have already seen a lot of interest and it looks promising.”

The brand launched in the market earlier this month with Olive Young, South Korea's health and beauty retailer, with plans to roll out into 100 more stores across the country.

“It is so important to pick the right distribution team when entering any market, and we feel we have done so in South Korea,” explained Duffy.

The Bulldog boss is a man speaking from experience, having launched the brand in 12 other markets worldwide, the most recent being in Ireland at the end of last year.

Big opportunity

South Korea has emerged as a market with great potential due to the growing trend towards men’s grooming that has been highlighted by market researcher Euromonitor.

Men’s grooming has been on the up for a while, but it is in fact the lesser associated men’s cosmetics that have seen a boost in South Korea, prompting cosmetic companies to target this new market.

Last year, Euromonitor reported that South Korean men spent $495.4 million on skin care products representing 21 percent of global sales.

The market is expected to continue growing with traditional categories such as toiletries pitching in, but it is men’s skin care that has emerged as the best performing, with cleansers and moisturizers – some of Bulldog’s core products – standing out.

Global roll-out

The company has also rolled out in the Australia and New Zealand markets as well as in the US, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany; and faced some strong competition along the way.

In Germany for example, the company took on skin care behemoth Nivea with its home advantage.

Duffy explained that this expansion was an opportunity for the company to bring innovation to the current assortment of typical brands and speak to German consumers in a different way, through Bulldog’s unique positioning as a male-only natural brand.

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