Male skin care emerges as market leader

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Skin care Marketing

The Men's skin care segment has emerged as a market leader in the
male grooming industry, according to market research firm, NPD
Group. However, due to disappointing overall sales growth in the
past year, manufacturers are urged to go after male consumers with
marketing strategies relevant to their lifestyle.

A recent 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, with skincare emerging as the key trend.

Karen Grant, senior beauty analyst for the NPD Group, said: ' the products that we see in the prestige market that are doing well are those that are simple and multi-purposed, products that are part of a basic regimen, like cleansers, moisturizers, and shave treatment products. Any products that requires extra steps is a much harder sell for men'.

The use of male grooming products has risen from a value of $26.3 bn in 2005 to $29.7 in 2006, revealing the importance that male grooming products currently have in the cosmetics industry. However, the skin care market is seeing the fastest growth, valued at $32 million in the first half of 2006, a 3 per cent increase from the comparable time of 2005.

51 per cent of sales for the total skin care market was made up of moisturizers and shaving creams, which took in $16.3 million in sales for the first half of 2006. The face sector was up 5 per cent from last year, with body care up 22 per cent.

Facial exfoliators came in below shaving creams in sales revenue, selling $3.7 million, and despite coming in fourth, facial cleansers had sales of $3.4 million in the first half of 2005, a double-digit growth of 14 per cent.

Grant puts the increase in sales down to male consumers beginning to 'take care of their skin beyond washing it with bar soap'.

However, according to NPD statistics, overall sales figures for the male skin care segment are significantly lower than the comparable period in 2005, with just a 3 per cent growth in the first half of 2006, in relation to a 15 per cent growth for 2005. With a high growth of 18 per cent in 2004, it is suggested that the segment has plateaued.

'Based on the size of the men's prestige fragrance industry, we believe men's skin care also has the potential to be a billion dollar industry, but it is hovering around the $70 million mark' Grant said. 'I see this as an opportunity to go after men and broaden the user base'.

Suggesting that the prestige skin market should follow the successful marketing process of the male prestige fragrance industry, Grant states that it is not about looking better and feeling younger, 'it's about being relevant to their lifestyle and the old adage of impressing the ladies'.

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