Most Sales Fall Flat In Mens Grooming

By Katie Middleweek, European Cosmetic Markets Tel: (44) 0207 193 7447, Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622 | March 1, 2012

It was somewhat of a lackluster year for the male grooming category with all countries in the Big 5 reporting a very mixed bag when it came to value sales. France and Spain reported only very slender gains while the UK and Italy lost sales. The only country to report healthy gains was Germany. It seems that male grooming is a category that may have fallen by the wayside in recent months with a lack of product innovation and tighter European purse strings both contributing to a year that was nothing to write home about.

From Boom to Gloom

In France, male grooming has never really enjoyed the same meteoric rise in value growth that was originally forecast, but during the past five years, in particular, the market really has fallen flat. In the past year, it grew by just 0.2%, according to Mintel, although the fragrance sub-sector within this is showing strong growth of its own.

In terms of NPD, France was ahead of the game as always. Lab Series Skin Care for Men (Estée Lauder) focused on brightening skin and combating the look of uneven skin tone with Power Brightening+DR4, a three-step system comprising a water lotion, serum and eye balm to help reduce current and future skin discoloration. And Clarins Men launched Baume Super Hydratant and Gel Super Hydratant, two “multi-level” hydration products that incorporate a natural derivative of hyaluronic acid to improve skin moisture and tone.

Meanwhile in the mass market, Nivea for Men (Beiersdorf) redesigned its sensitive skin care range with new white packs for greater simplicity, and introduced two new treatments, Lotion After Shave and Gel Apaisant, formulated with natural (unprocessed) chamomile and vitamin E to help strengthen the natural defenses of the epidermis while repairing damage from razor burn.

German Growth

The German male grooming segment was the only European market to have shown any solid growth in the past year; the market grew 3.9% to approximately $671 million. Looking at individual sub-sectors, shower products, deodorant products and facial skin care products, there was also positive movement with growth of 3%, 5.4% and 0.6% respectively, according to SymphonyIRI Germany.
In February last year, Schwarzkopf & Henkel extended its Syoss hair and styling range with Syoss Men, a line of three shampoos, two styling gels, one styling paste and one hairspray. The Power & Strength shampoo is for normal hair, Anti-Grease Shampoo for greasy hair and Anti-Dandruff for dandruff-ridden hair. The styling products include an Ultra Hold Hairspray with UV filter that is easy to brush out and gives ultra strong hold; Ultra Hold Styling Gel for a strong yet flexible hold; Power Hold Extreme Styling Gel that gives hold for up to 24 hours; and Power Hold Extreme Styling Paste for structure.

The following month saw the new launch in the Right Guard deodorant range, Right Guard Xtreme Dry for men, the first antiperspirant to keep the skin dry and odorless even under extreme conditions. Available in stick, spray and roll-on forms, the product combines a very effective antiperspirant formula, anti-bacterial ingredients and a long-lasting fragrance along with up to 72 hours protection, according to the company.

Slump in Sales

Sales of men’s grooming products in Italy slumped 2.2% to approximately $268 million last year, with most sales happening in the mass market, according to industry body Unipro. When it came to the popular pharmacy channel however, sales were up slightly, 0.5%, to nearly $13 million. However, perfumeries told a similar story slumping 3.3% to $65 million.

In terms of new product activity, Biotherm Homme (L’Oréal) rolled out Aquapower D Sensitive, a three-step program for sensitive skin comprising a cleansing gel, shaving foam and daily hydrating cream. Products are free from alcohol, parabens and perfumes and feature the pure extract of thermal plankton and calcium, which is said to reinforce the natural barriers of the skin.

Smelling Sweeter?

Spain did record a small gain in sales in the past year—but only by a very tiny 0.45% to nearly $427
million—according to SymphonyIRI Spain. So this was hardly anything to get too excited about although the volume sales over this same period remained steady at 57.8 million units.

These figures would also indicate that Spanish men do not like to make a special trip to the pharmacy or drugstore for their cosmetics and toiletries, preferring to combine this with their regular supermarket shop as some 80% of products of this ilk for men were purchased in supermarkets and hypermarkets. Razors are one of the areas, unsurprisingly, where Spanish men do spend a lot of money, $273 million in the past year alone, which accounts for 60% of the total figure.

Men’s fragrance sales have been a strong factor in the Spanish male grooming market in the past year and there have been a number of men’s fragrance launches. The first comes from retailer Springfield, part of the Cortefiel group. Forever Free is said to be a fresh, young aroma with citrus notes for a modern fragrance, and is said to be ideal for those who “mix fashions from different eras to create their own style.”

Roberto Verino has also introduced a new fragrance—RV Pure—that mixes a vast range of aromas to create a rounded “masculine” perfume, while the Armani Code range has been expanded with a Sport edition. Armani Code Sport, which was reportedly developed using technology that works with the body’s own chemistry, is said to have a fresh, seductive aroma.

Retail Reaches Out

According to Kantar Worldpanel, the UK male grooming market has also been in the doldrums for the past year with a 0.7% slip in value sales to $1.1 billion. Comparatively, volume fell 3.5% to 317.42 million units, which also did little to dispel the bad news for the category.

However, it wasn’t all bad news as a closer look revealed that some sub-sectors, inexplicably, performed quite well—hairspray sales soared 20.7% and shampoo sales rose 16.3%.

UK retail giant Tesco launched a new range designed just for men called MX. The comprehensive line includes all of the most popular SKUs in the male market and includes a selection of shaving products featuring the Matrix 3 Razor plus 2 Replacement Cartridges and MX Conditioning Shave Gel; body care items such as MX Entice shower gel; and deodorants including the MX Entice Bodyspray. All of these items are thought to be available at reasonable price points.

The European male grooming market has really seen a rather dull and lackluster past year but there is still clearly some interest from manufacturers when it comes to attracting the male euro (or pound!) and this is something which cannot and should not be ignored. Let’s hope the market is buoyed in the next year and the figures look a bit healthier in 12 months time.

European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited.
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