Category Insight: 4 Key Trends in Men's Grooming

This month we're dedicating our blog to trends in men's grooming in support of the amazing work of the Movember Foundation, created to fight against men's diseases, namely with their well known Moustache November. So grow yourself a 'tache, and read on to see the interesting developments, and areas with opportunity for growth in this area.

Whilst the women’s personal care category is developing more quickly, the men’s grooming industry remains a niche. However, the strongest growth exists in dynamic markets such as USA, India, Brazil and some European countries (especially Portugal, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia). In this blog, we cover some emerging themes and consumer preferences in the male grooming industry that can benefit a product portfolio and new product development for both small and large brands globally.

Wellness and Fitness

With the wellness trend being one of the top emerging personal care themes for 2019 there is an opportunity for beauty brands to target fit-lifestyle and fitness in men’s personal care products. Simplicity and ease of use product claims are appealing. According to Mintel, 50% of UK men agree that it is hard to know which ingredients to look for in skincare products.

Brands can stand out by explaining and educating men about the benefits of focusing on the hero ingredients and product claims that promote time-saving/easy-use benefits. This is especially could be useful for multiple benefit formulas that can grow and tap into simplicity and convenience.

Few of the great players that are tapping into this trend are Dove MenCare Clean Comfort 3-in-1 Shower Foam, Super Dry RE:vive Men’s Body and Hair Wash and All Naturals - Sport Ultra Performance Soothing Body Oil etc.

Multi-purpose active men grooming products

Dove MenCare Clean, Super Dry, All Naturals

Multi-purpose beauty and personal care products can also extend and offer more added benefits including anti-ageing claims that could also tie in well with sports themes.

Scent is important to men with scope for more disruptive options to stand out and grab consumer attention, especially with unexpected/quirky scent combinations (eg Axe Collision’s Leather & Cookies), and layered or changeable scents.

Natural and organic products in men personal care

Natural and organic ingredients in the personal care market are also popular among male consumers. According to Mintel, 33% of UK men agree that it is important that men’s haircare brands feature natural or organic ingredients. Thus, it is not surprising that the top claims in men’s beauty and personal care launches in Europe in the 12 months focus on naturalness, durability, and hydration.

Similarly, natural ingredients are welcomed in other regions around the globe and brands can encourage men to be more experimental when choosing products by boldly advertising the merits of new natural ingredients (eg. legal cannabis, charcoal, matcha). In fact, 32% of new product developments in North America contained natural claims (Mintel).

One great example that stands out in the natural category is Kaerel’s product range boldly stating “crap free” - free from synthetic and dubious ingredients and formulated 100% with natural ingredients.

Kaerel Skincare

Image Credit:

Hero natural ingredients are also appealing in simple and clean packaging. Examples include Douglas Men Bamboo Extract & Aquacacteen Hydro Lotion with bamboo, cactus and avocado and Dr Taffi Merlot & Barrel shower gel with organic grapevine and lemon.

Douglas Men Bamboo Extract & Aquacacteen Hydro Lotion & Dr Taffi Merlot & Barrel shower gel

Douglas Men Bamboo Extract & Aquacacteen Hydro Lotion & Dr Taffi Merlot & Barrel shower gel

Hair Grooming innovations

More brands are moving into the beard/barber-theme space in an effort to not miss out, but this segment is becoming quite saturated. According to Mintel, 14% of men’s hair, shaving, skincare and soap bath and shower launches in Europe made reference to beards on-pack in the 12 month period from June 2017. Another significant market is Latin America with 12% rise in new product development for men’s hair, shaving, skincare and shower and bath products that address beards on the pack.

However, there is still a possibility for differentiation, especially with beard washes in shampoo and face care markets.

These products also appear in a variety of forms whether it is liquid, bar soap and grooming oils. We’ve picked Bart Royal Oud Wood Beard Soap and it is designed to gently remove dirt and residue from beard and face, and also to help moisturise. Another example is Lab Series Skincare for Men’s Grooming Oil 3-in1 Shave & Beard Oil is formulated with sea buckhorn, jojoba, and sweet almond oil targeting both bearded and clean-shaven with its multi-functional grooming oil.

Bart Royal Oud Wood Beard Soap and Lab Series Skincare for Men

Bart Royal Oud Wood Beard Soap and Lab Series Skincare for Men

Simple and Ease of Use

This is quite important to note especially with beard care segment. The longevity of the beard trend is driving more players to enter the segment. There is, however, a danger that the segment is becoming too cluttered and brands will need to clearly emphasise simplicity, versatility (eg for bearded and non-bearded men), and unique benefits to stay competitive.

It is important to note that male users of personal care products are most attracted to familiar ingredients that are frequently used in the category, such as vitamins (52%) and aloe vera (50%), rather than newer ingredients such as charcoal (10%), clay (7%), or arginine (6%).

Moisturising and anti-ageing

Many male grooming products in all markets focus on moisturising claims, as this seems to be of men’s main concerns (eg. problem skin, skin dryness, dandruff) when it comes to personal care products. In order for small brands to stand out, these can expand with evening out skin tone and mask blemishes, body depilatories that avoid razor rash or prickly regrowth, anti-ageing and pollution-protecting skincare.

Private label launches that are tapping into niche markets and can compete beyond affordability with sheet masks, anti-ageing, and beard care. Sheet masks have already picked up more innovations in Asia Pacific region, accounting for 2% of new product launches.

Stephenson Personal Care

Stephenson offers a range of bases suitable for tapping into these men grooming trends including natural bases, 3-in-1 products, hair and body wash bases with high moisturising properties. If you want to enquire about these products or need more information, please contact us here.

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