Separating the Men from the Boys

By Katie Rodgers, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | March 3, 2009

Bucking the credit crunch in the male grooming sector, the Big 5 has grown in value terms in all countries in the past year. Some growth is much stronger than others but all are going in the right direction nonetheless. France and the UK had particularly successful years, while Italy and Spain posted steady increases. Coming in last was Germany, where value sales rose just a bit.
The French male grooming market enjoyed particularly good fortune in 2007, rising 12.9% to $1.3 billion (at historical exchange rates), according to industry body FEBEA. In terms of distribution, the selective channel grew 16.5% to $905 million, making it the largest channel for male grooming products in France. The mass market accounted for a smaller share of the pie, growing 7.7% to $353 million million. The pharmacy channel came next at $45 million, a 9.1% increase.
Fragrances and aftershaves remain the largest sector in value terms, and segment sales rose nearly 15% in 2007 to top $1 billion.
According to Mintel, male fragrances represent more than half the male grooming market value in France. Sales of eau de toilette drove most of the growth in the scent sector, jumping 17.3% to $788 million, while aftershave fragrance products rose by 7.6% to $103 million.
French pharmacy brand Lierac (Alès Group) recognized the segment’s potential with the launch of Lierac Homme, a six-SKU range which includes Anti-Fatigue moisturizer, containing camouflage pigments to conceal signs of fatigue; Soothing Balm, an alcohol-free balm containing mint leaf and calendula extract to help prevent razor burn and calm irritation; Express Shaving Foam; Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Repair Moisturizer; and Diopti Eye Contour, a fresh eye gel said to combat puffiness and dark circles.

Grinding to a Halt

Germany is the only one of the Big 5 countries to register a pretty static performance in the past year, eeking out a tiny 0.67% growth to $683 million, according to IRI Germany. Still, there was plenty of innovation in the German market that kept industry insiders hopeful. Shaving preparations grew 0.9% to $120 million, while male fragrances barely managed to move at all, growing just 0.2% to $761 million. Selective facial skin care sales slid 1% to $40 million.
Still, there were some interesting male fragrance launches to tempt German consumers. Munich-based Mäurer & Wirtz launched two men’s fragrances last year. The first, launched in April, was Gin Tonic Men, which is described as a fresh sparkling scent cocktail. The aftershave has top notes of lemon sorbet, ginger and pineapple, the heart contains juniper berry and lavender and the base is made up of cedar wood accords. The second was the Italian-inspired Carlo Colucci Emozione Uomo, which came out in May. The fragrance, which is said to evoke an Italian attitude to life and make the wearer carefree and laid back, has top notes of coriander and cypress, a heart of juniper berries and base notes of patchouli and vetiver.

On the Up

According to figures from Italian trade industry body UNIPRO, the male grooming sector had a successful year in 2007. Skin care sales rose 2% to $296 million, while fragrance sales jumped 4.6% to $481 million. Taking a closer look, sales of shaving preps surged 8.5% to $66 million, while shaving soap sales increased 1.5% to $125 million.
Italian men were treated to a plethora of new product launches in 2008 with home-grown brand Collistar being its usual active self—no surprise since it holds an 11.3% share of the Italian men’s market.

Sun and Shade

In Spain, the male grooming market was a bit of a mixed bag, as value rose by 2% to $132 million on volume sales of 14.6 million units, according to data from AC Nielsen. But the popular mass market channel did suffer, as volume fell 3% in the shaving category even as value sales rose 6%.
Male grooming products sold through the selective channel meanwhile accounted for 15% of volume share and a whopping 33.6% of value share. This is fast becoming the channel of choice for Spanish men, who seem to like its upmarket appeal and efficient customer service.
Spain’s selective channel gained several new products launched by international brands, always a favorite with Spaniards. Biotherm Homme extended its product line to include High Recharge Yeux, which is billed as the first anti-fatigue cold serum. It contains ginseng, thermal plankton and hyaluronic acid to combat fatigue around the eyes for a healthier, fresher look. Meanwhile Lancôme Men rolled out skin care solutions for men of any age. Products include Energizer Total for 20-30 year-olds, Age Fight for 30-40 year-olds and Renergy 3D for older men.

Men Rule the Roost

The UK market reported a very positive 2008, rising 8.6% to $1.4 billion. Volume rose 3.8% to 382.25 million units. Looking at the UK market more closely, there were certain dominant categories in male grooming. Data from TNS Worldpanel showed that deodorants held an impressive 34.5% market share, followed next by that old stalwart the razor blade at 27.2%. Interestingly, skin care sales soared 33.6% in 2008 taking its share of the market from 9.7% in 2007 to 11.9%.
Within the deodorant sector, Lynx (Unilever) unveiled Instinct, a new fragrance for the UK. The line features body spray, antiperspirant, shower gel and aftershave formats. Another key player in the deodorant market was Sure, another Unilever brand. At the start of the year the company launched Sure Men Maximum Strength deodorant alongside the existing female variant. The product contains Trisolid technology which has three components that compact wetness and odor and moisturize up to 48 hours.

On the Horizon

Despite the current economic climate, men’s grooming is booming, but as one of the newer categories in the cosmetics and toiletries market it could be one of the first to suffer a downturn. The good news is that men have staked a claim to personal care and are lapping up new product development and scientific technologies at a rapid rate. As long as this remains the case, the category has a promising future.

About the Author
European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by Wilmington Media. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact Wilmington Media, Tel: (44) 20 7549 8626. Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622