Last year, the male toiletries market grew by 5.2 per cent to 881m, with fragrance sales being responsible for the lion's share of the increase. Sales of fragrances, which have a 37.4 per cent share of the market, grew by 19 per cent to 208m. The research, which was carried out by TNS for the Grocer magazine, suggests that the metro-sexual remains a significant target for personal care companies. The market for male grooming products has gone from strength to strength in recent years, growing by 33.2 per cent between 2001 and 2006, according to Euromonitor. Women are partly responsible for this trend as they continue to buy cosmetics for the men in their lives. Two thirds of British men don't buy their soap and as many as 46 per cent don't buy their own shaving products. Nonetheless, the total number of shoppers buying men's toiletries has grown to 7.5 million, with a strong concentration of 45- to 65-year-olds among the new faces in the cosmetics aisle. On the supply side, product innovation spurred some of the growth as new products took a 27 per cent share of the market. Among the innovative products to meet with success was men's sun lotion, sales of which grew 81 per cent last year. This was the highest growing product category, although its total value remains small at 1.6m. TNS Worldpanel compiled the figures from a survey of 25,000 households. The report uncovers a male cosmetics market in fine health, but of a very differing nature to the Far Eastern market. Recent reports indicate that sales of feminine products that produce a fine and delicate look are behind the growth in sales of men's cosmetics in Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile, the strongest performing products on the UK market, such as the top two brands Lynx and Gillette Series, are marketed to enhance a man's sense of masculinity. Reflecting this traditionalism is the strong sales of shaving soaps, which grew by seven per cent taking their share of the men's toiletries market up to 10.7 per cent. On the other hand, shampoo, a very basic product, performed poorly with sales falling 17 per cent. The micro-segmentation trend, which has seen the number targeted shampoos balloon, may be to blame for the falling sales. Beauty consumers are reacting against micro-segmentation, according to a recent Euromonitor study. The global report said they are unwilling to spend time choosing the perfect product for them, especially when it comes to the basics such as shampoo or toothpaste. "Shampoo has struggled in the latest year. This is due to the combination of less men buying into this sector and price pressure with increased promotions," said Natalie Babbage, TNS Worldpanel's research manager.