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Stepping out of the Stone Age: Male grooming booming as men up their interest

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 31-Jan-2013

The modern man is concerned with his appearance and is increasingly aware of the benefits associated with a proper beauty regime and this, in turn, is driving the growth of the global men’s grooming market.

Gone are the days when the necessary wash and shave would suffice, and even the days of sneaking a partner’s products, as men now have their own specific skin care selection.

According to a new report from market researcher Kline, despite Europe still occupying the position as the largest men’s market, it is in Asia where the pace has really picked up; with India in particular posting a 32 per cent increase in 2012.

Asia growth

The markets in Japan and South Korea are also 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.

"[We have seen a] 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," notes Nancy Mills, Kline's Consumer Products Practice Industry Manager.

Developed market in Europe

In Europe, where the market is much more developed, the growth is naturally slower, but has seen a host of more sophisticated and specific products launched with Germany leading the way, and Nivea and L’Oréal capitalising on this.

However, the German market does not top every list, as it falls short as the least popular market for conditioners, while demand for hair styling mousse is highest in China.

The report also reveals that category strength continues to vary between regions.

Deodorants and antiperspirants is the largest and most fragmented category across the globe due to a tendency to utilise deodorant sheets instead of a Western style spray/solid/gel/roll-on formats; meaning this category is weakest in some Asian countries.

However, the category's growth numbers in these countries also reveals a move towards Western-preferred formats.

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