Male grooming across Europe is certainly going from strength to strength with all Big 5 countries making gains in value terms. France and the UK saw the healthiest gains while Italy just managed to eek out some growth. Germany and Spain fell somewhere in the middle of the two, with their male grooming markets putting on 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively. When it came to new products launched, European men really were spoiled for choice, with even more being launched than in the previous year. And the figures from the associated industry bodies show that these products really are flying off the shelves and into the baskets of Europe’s male consumers.
According to data from IRI France, sales of male grooming products in French supermarket and hypermarket channels approached $1.2 billion in value terms and nearly 540 million units in volume terms in 2009. Looking at individual sectors, men’s care, which includes facial skin care, masks and patches, made the biggest gain of 4.6% in value terms to exceed $36 million. However, it was not all good news as some sectors did tumble. Men’s shower products slipped 2.5% to about $55 million last year.
Men’s hygiene products received particular attention when it came to new offerings rolled out in France. After five years of research, Gillette introduced a comprehensive new line of thermo-reactive deodorants onto the French market last summer. The deodorants use the molecule beta-cyclodextrin to encapsulate the fresh scent, which is released as the body begins to sweat. Available in spray, stick, transparent gel and roll-on formats, there are six variants to choose from—Arctic Ice, Cool Wave, Derma Comfort, Storm Force, Power Rush and Talcum Dry-Tech.
Making Up Ground
The German male grooming market managed a slight 1.2% gain in 2009, according to the latest figures from IRI Germany. Although not a huge improvement, it was a gain nonetheless. The mass men’s facial skin care sector made the biggest gains, adding a very impressive 9.3% to about $80 million. In contrast, sales of selective facial skin care products fell 2.8% to $30 million. And men’s fragrances came up smelling of roses, as they accounted for a huge market share of 24.5% in 2009. Sales of men’s scents rose 0.8% to $586 million.
Schwarzkopf & Henkel was busy rolling out a range of new male variants last year, many across the bathroom products segment. In March 2009, the company launched two new products in its Fa Men range of shower gels and deodorants, which so far includes Speedster, Kick-Off, Spicy Black and Energy Zone. The newest arrival, Fa Men Extreme Cool, includes a shower gel with menthol that is said to gently cleanse the skin while preventing it from drying out. The menthol provides an extra cooling kick and is accompanied by a matching deodorant that reportedly provides 24-hour protection. Both products are scented with the line’s Extreme Cool fragrance, which combines notes of citrus, marine freshness and cedarwood and is described by the company as “arctic fresh and invigorating.”
Slim Gains in Italy
The Italian men’s grooming market had a fairly static year in 2008, growing just 0.4% to $795 million, which was slightly disappointing considering the 3.6% value growth that the market had seen the previous year. In Italy, male facial skin care sales rose 2.8% to nearly $70 million, yet aftershave products did not share the same good fortune. The sector slid a troubling 4% in 2008 to $101 million. However, men’s fragrance sales rose 1.2% to $495 million.
Unilever is one of the most popular marketers in Italy but, until last year, it had never launched a male range within its Dove franchise. All that changed in September with debut of Dove Men+Care, a range of products especially formulated for mature men. The range features a selection of personal care products, including Doccia Gel Extra Fresh, a shower gel that is said to freshen the face and body thanks to something called “micro moisture technology,” which is based on sunflower oil to nourish and soften the skin.
Men Take Control
AC Nielsen data indicates that Spanish men are taking greater interest in their grooming needs as the value of the Spanish male grooming market grew by 1.7% across the mass and selective market to $66 million in facial skin care sales alone. In the same sector, volume sales also grew by 1.6% to total 4.28 million units. The most popular brands in the male facial skin care sector in Spain are L’Oréal Men Expert and Biotherm, both part of the L’Oréal stable, closely followed by Beiersdorf’s Nivea for Men range.
P&G’s Gillette brand is also one to watch in Spain as it holds a dominant position in the shaving market. The company recently branched out of hardware and into facial skin care solutions with its Gillette Series lineup. The range was recently extended to include two new references, a 3-in-1 Thermo-Active Exfoliating Gel for pre-shaving preparation and a post-shaving Energizing Moisturizer containing vitamins B3, E and pro-vitamin B5 to restore moisture that can be lost during shaving.
The UK Ascending
It was an all-around success story for the UK male grooming market, with both value and volume figures posting impressive gains. Value sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel, grew 3.7% to $1.1 billion last year. Volume figures swelled 8.4% to more than 323 million units. It was once again male fragrances, along with male deodorant products, which topped the UK polls. Deodorant sales, in fact, took the top spot, accounting for 38.6% of the market with men’s fragrances coming in second place at 19.9%.
UK men were also the lucky recipients of a variety of new skin care products from the multinationals, who always do well on UK soil. L’Oréal Paris focused on its Men Expert brand in 2009 with the launch of the Hydra-Sensitive four-SKU range that features a moisturizer designed for lightweight coverage. Also launched under the Men Expert name was Hydra Energetic Ice Cool Eye Roll On, designed to refresh and hydrate tired looking eyes.
Meanwhile L’Oréal launched Biotherm Homme’s Force Supreme Total Anti-Ageing Gel and Vichy’s Homme Liftactiv, the later a skin care product designed to fight deep lines with a blend of hyaluronic acid and AHAs.
The European male grooming market appears to rival the female sector when it comes to both consumer interest and the sheer number of new products. In fact, there were more new products launched in Europe last year than ever before. What makes it even more remarkable is that these launches took place even during the credit crunch. It demonstrates that manufacturers are still taking the male grooming sector as seriously as ever; as long as men show an interest, there will be plenty of new products to tempt them.