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Cologne Gains Traction Among Men in Japan

March 4, 2008

JAPAN: A Nikkei Weekly point-of-sale (POS) survey shows Unilever’s new brands rank first through third among top 10 bestsellers as young men grow concerned about body odor. While long-established brands tend to be the bestsellers, Unilever Japan’s new Axe jumped to the top due to a strong advertising campaign.

According to Nikkei POS data, which was used to list the top 10 best-selling brands in the three-month period from August through October last year, the three leading places were taken by Unilever’s Axe fragrance series. The survey found that Unilever and Shiseido Co. are now vying for the largest market share, controlling 34% each.

According to Yano Research Institute, the men’s cosmetics market came to $912 million in fiscal 2006, seeing another small rise after growth in the previous four years. Although exact market scale is not clear for men’s cologne due to parallel imports, its growth is more-or-less linked to that of the overall men’s cosmetics market, reports the Tokyo research company.

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