Category Insight: 4 Key Trends in Men's Grooming

Latest News Calendar Date 19/11/2018
Category Insight: 4 Key Trends in Men's Grooming

With the continuous growth of male grooming and skincare products, the market presents opportunities for brands and manufacturers alike. The global male grooming products market reached a value of US$ 57.7 Billion in 2017 and it is expected to reach US$ 78.6 Billion by 2023, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.3% during 2017-2023, according to

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.

Similarly, men’s skincare category is expected to reach $10 billion, and will display a double digit compound annual growth rate through 2029, predicts Future Market Insights (FMI). Men’s skincare products include shaving products, moisturisers, creams, sunscreens and cleansers.

According to Mintel’s report, Middle East (9%) and Latin America (8%) are the markets with the highest NPD launches in male grooming category, followed by European market (6%) with product launches on the rise. On the other hand, Asian market launches have seen a slight decrease to 4% of total BPC product launches in the region, however, it still presents many opportunities due to popularity of J-beauty and K-beauty.

1. 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 productsDove MenCare Clean, Super Dry, All Naturals

Innovating Multi-purpose 3in1 bars for men

Multipurpose products are just one way to appeal to customers, with products such as 3-in-1 body bars, deodorising sports bars, solid shampoo and body bars. Syndet bases are milder than most other soaps, due to them being ph neutral, producing ideal multipurpose applications for solid shampoo bar and face cleansers, shaving bar, body bar and other applications.

In Asian and North American markets multi-functional beauty and personal care products are popular presenting more convenience and ease of use. In fact, in China 51% of male users of BPC products prefer multi-functional personal care products. In America, simplifying men’s grooming routines with multiple benefit formulas and formats present key areas for innovation (eg: mess-free and portable sticks, shampoo and conditioner bars etc.)

Men’s interest in straightforward/quick grooming routines is solid; but there is some room for ‘slow beauty’ concepts to emerge when targeting younger, more engaged men. 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.

2. Natural and organic claims are growing in mencare

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 SkincareImage Credit: Kaerel Skincare

Sustainable and packaging free bars for men

The resurgence in bar soaps and solid shampoos, plus the ever growing pressures to reduce bathroom and cosmetics packaging and waste is a real challenge for brands and contract manufacturers globally. Natural and eco-friendly products are preferable by men and dominating the product launches, especially in North America and European regions.

In North America, eco-friendly products are apparent in new product launches, with growing natural claims dominating the market (33% of new product launches) through 2018-2019. Globally, just 4-12% of global men’s beauty and personal care product launches make eco product/package, or affiliated vegan or organic claims. Focusing on promoting recyclable attributes, waste-reducing, water-and plastic-saving solid formats and ‘clean beauty’ messaging could give the advantage to brands in this category and consumers are ready to pay more.

In China, 76% of men are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, when thinking of corporate social responsibility, but product efficiency is still very important. While, in European male grooming market, vegan, eco package, recycling and botanical claims are among the fastest-growing.

Syndet bases, like Syndopal MB, are perfect for developing packaging-free product applications like solid shampoo bars and conditioners, beauty bars and solid facial cleansers that require no packaging and greatly appeal to male consumers.

Natural caring for hair and beard

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

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

3. Simple, Clean and For Sensitive Skin

This is quite important to note especially with beard care segment. Simplicity and ease of use are important. Also, 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%).

With blurring lines between natural and clean beauty, men prefer products “Clean” also known as having no nasty ingredients. In fact, according to Mintel’s report, 54% of US male buyers of natural/organic personal care products agree a product appears natural/organic if it is marketed as ‘clean’. Similarly in the UK, 46% of UK men consider it important that their beauty/grooming routines are ‘clean’ (eg use few chemicals).

Fewer chemicals and more sustainable ingredients appeal to male consumers in these markets, and clean beauty trend is picking up in Asian market.

Sensitive skin in men represents an emerging category. Demand for sensitive skin products is growing and at its highest in the Asian region, although products with neutral ph or addressing sensitive skin are being launched more and more worldwide.In the UK, 32% of men say they have sensitive skin, so the market presents an opportunity for brands to explore more and to launch products addressing those needs.

Another niche targeting sensitive skin is tattoos. There is also a gap in the market to target tattooed men with more beauty and personal care innovations, given their on-going popularity and acceptance. In 2019 niche tattoo-specific new product developments has seen <1% of recent launches, however, this can expand beyond skincare where most innovation is found.

Image Credit: Hisu lee on Unsplash

4. 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 offers solutions for mencare

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.

Syndopal solid bars for male grooming and skincare
Syndopal is a new ultra-mild syndet base adaptable for cosmetic, premium mass market and pharmacy applications. It offers manufacturers in the personal care access to high speed syndet bar production without the need for specialist equipment.

Syndopal can address consumers by its suitability for sensitive skin, being non-irritant, non-drying, paraben free and peg-free.

If you would like to find out more about Syndopal please, enquire below:

Enquire here...

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Agne Roke Digital Communications Manager