Varon debuted in March this year in Japan with an all-in-one lotion, serum and moisturiser product that is available in three different scents.
It was positioned as a skin care brand for men in aged 40 and above who have experienced years of accumulated skin damage from factors such as ultraviolet ray damage and shaving, resulting in skin problems such as dryness, stickiness, and dullness.
The brand was developed by Suntory, a Japanese company that produces a wide variety of beverages, including high-end spirits.
In fact, Varon’s products feature whiskey barrel extract, an ingredient derived from Spanish oak, which is the same wood Suntory uses to age its whiskey, as well as oolong tea extract.
It also features novel emulsion formula patented by Suntory that delivers the ingredients into the skin in three steps. The brand claimed that this technology leaves the skin hydrated and gives the skin with a “lustre” without being sticky and uncomfortable.
In less than six months since its launch, the brand has managed to surpass its initial first-year sales target of JPY300m (USD2.87m) after selling over 200,000 units.
The success has prompted the company to revise its sales target to JPY900m(USD6.14m), which is triple its original goal.
In addition, the brand will launch a new 40ml bottle size in December, which would allow new customers to trial the product for a month and experience the results.
The brand said a 40ml bottle would allow consumers to trial it more effectively as it is currently only available in 120ml and 20ml bottles which last up to three months and 10 days respectively.
Meeting a need
According to Suntory, the success Varon has experienced boils down to the fact that the brand has filled a gap in the skin care market for products that meet the needs of middle-aged men.
Referencing its consumer research into men aged between 40 and 70 years, Suntory said there was a high awareness of skin care. Within this demographic, 98% of them believed that it was good for men to start using skin care, regardless of age.
“In this way, changes in the awareness and feelings of middle-aged and seniors are also contributing to the strong performance of Varon.”
Furthermore, 72% of respondents said they had become conscious of their appearance and grooming. In addition, 71% of the respondents answered that they “became more positive about ageing”, signalling more positive attitudes towards skin care and ageing, said the firm.
“We found that positive changes are taking place in terms of feelings and ways of thinking about life.”
CosmeticsDesign-Asia’s in-depth analysis on the men’s beauty and personal care market, discussed how beauty products were increasingly becoming more synonymous with well-being and health. And this reframing of beauty has possibly made skin care products more accessible to men.