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Niche male cosmetics market on the rise

By Louise Prance , 17-Oct-2006

A Research and Markets report has emerged highlighting the growing trend for male grooming, detailing the particular increase in particular niche products.

The use of the products has risen from a value of $26.3 bn in 2005 to $29.7 in 2005, revealing the increasing importance that male grooming products currently have in the cosmetics industry.

Many market-leading companies have targeted the growing male consumer market early on, with L'Oreal launching its comprehensive men's skin care and personal care range, Men's Experts, on the global market towards the end of 2004.

Likewise increasingly sophisticated products that have traditionally catered to female vanities are being marketed to men with manufacturers like Biersdorf and Shiseido launching products such as anti-wrinkle creams, bronzing products and toning gels.

This shows that companies are no longer opting to manufacture the stereotypical male grooming product, such as shaving foam, and razors. But are now focused on developing increasingly niche products.

Indeed, the Nivea brand launched a skin-whitening product for men in Asia in 2005, stating at the time that is was the first ever male-dedicated skin-whitening product on the market.

The value of male personal care products in Europe has also risen, with sales figures having rose by 2.7 per cent a year between 2000 and 2005, with expectations of a further rise of 2.3 per cent a year between 2005 and 2010.

This report has been published in what is being described as a metrosexual era. However, there has been a suggestion that cosmetic businesses need to focus more on specific needs rather than what could just be a passing phase.

A previous study by market research company, Datamonitor, points to a polarization in male attitudes, with the more effeminate metrosexual values now living side-by-side along more macho attitudes. This, the report claims, is leading male consumers to be more unsure of what their role is as they reconcile the two extremes.

However, the Datamonitor survey has shown that 73 per cent of European and US men said that spending time in front of the mirror was 'important' or 'very important', compared to 72 per cent of women with the same response. Thus mirroring the arrival of the metrosexual era.

Research and Markets suggests that, contrary to the metrosexual stereotype, it is actually older men that are most important for the growth of male grooming products.

Figures show that the senior consumer group has accounted for the fastest spending growth in the US and European markets. It saw a 3.9 per cent annual growth in personal care consumption over the 2000 to 2005 period, to reach a total of $9.8 bn.

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