Men's grooming market grows beyond hair and beard products

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on December 06, 2019

This market is projected to soar to $5.5-b by 2021

Male grooming has come of age and is creating quite a lather. For decades, the beauty and grooming market has been dominated by products and services for women, but today, men present a huge opportunity for the beauty industry and companies are targetting a different type of consumer.

Though grooming services for men have traditionally included only the basic haircut and shaving products, metrosexual men have become more conscious of grooming and are now demanding a far wider range of products and services.

Tracking the evolution of men's grooming, an analysis by PGA Labs states, India's men grooming market was $1.28 billion in 2016, and is estimated to have crossed $2.6 billion in 2018, recording a CAGR of 36 per cent. The market is projected to soar to $5.5 billion by 2021.

Men are the emerging disruptors. From beard oil to facial cleansers, most men have more than one male grooming product in the bathroom, with scores of products making their presence felt in retail outlets.

Innovation also appears to be catching on, with the numbers registering the healthy trend. Between MAT March 2018 and MAT March 2019, 177 new male grooming brands and variants were launched in the country.

Innovations abound

Marico is targeting the fast-growing male grooming market with a range of innovative cosmetics.

Suchit Bansal, Business Head, Premium & Digital Personal Care Business, Marico Limited told BusinessLine, "We do extensive research on beauty and wellness trends and have seen that charcoal is considered a super ingredient that is increasingly being used in personal care products, both internationally and in the domestic market."

Because the men’s grooming industry is big business, every brand from Gillette to after-shave major Old Spice has developed and released an ever-expanding roster of products to help men primp and pamper themselves. Charcoal is the new find.

Marico launched the Charcoal range of male grooming products in Q4 FY19. "With benefits that aid detoxification of skin, fighting pollution and grime and drawing out impurities to deliver clear, hydrated and naturally radiant skin," Bansal says charcoal is witnessing accelerated demand in India.

Leveraging this trend, Marico recently launched the Set Wet Studio X Charcoal male grooming range, that includes shampoo, body wash, peel-off face mask, face wash and face scrub.

"Through this range, we aim to harness the multitude of benefits offered by activated charcoal. Aided by a digitally-forward campaign, the Set Wet Studio X Charcoal range is currently garnering healthy conversions," adds Bansal.

The company further broadened its play in the segment with the launch of Set Wet hair serums for men. Set Wet is currently the market leader in the hair gels category in India. As of Q2FY20, its hair gel registered high offtakes on the back of its 56 per cent value market share.

A report by Edelweiss Securities states Marico's male grooming and nourishment portfolio, the premium hair nourishment portfolio grew by 7 per cent Y-o-Y in volume terms, largely driven by Livon Serums’ continued good run.

Marico aims to build its premium hair nourishment and male grooming into growth engines of the future and expects to deliver value growth at 20 per cent plus CAGR in these portfolios.

Breaking stereotypes

Another campaign by male grooming brand Gillette India is also breaking stereotypes.

The brand has continually challenged stereotypes through campaigns like #BarbershopGirls to latest one on #ShavingStereotypes, where it asks ‘Why don’t men show their tears?’

The brand challenges why men are taught to not show their vulnerability, not to show their emotions and not to cry. Gillette, with its second edition of #ShavingStereotypes, says that it is ok for men to cry and that men expressing their vulnerability through tears is being #ManEnough.

Conceptualised and created by advertising major Grey Group, the #ManEnough ad film follows the journey of a soldier who suffered a bullet injury in the line of duty.

Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Chief Creative Officer, Grey Group, said Gillette, as a leading male brand and advocate for men, believes in igniting conversations that raise and inspire the future generation of men.

Karthik Srivatsan, Country Category Leader, Grooming Indian Sub-Continent at P&G, adds the need was to get past stereotypes that constrain men."We are committed to Gillette being a 'Force for Good' and want to continue to bring real life positive stories of men, and play a role in influencing culture," Srivatsan added.

Companies are urging men to ditch their bar of soap and embrace a new morning routine. Recently, depilatory product company Veet, manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser (RB), launched a men hair removal cream.

Pankaj Duhan, Chief Marketing Officer, RB Health South Asia says today’s modern men realise the importance of grooming. "This is also reflected in the increasing number of men who want to remove body hair," he said.

It was an insight that sparked a product range. Insights and the growing demand has also led to M&As with FMCG majors picking up stakes in start-ups. In 2018, Colgate-Palmolive bought a 14 per cent stake in Bombay Shaving Company, while Kolkata-based Emami inked two rounds of investment in The Man Company. Others like Godrej have launched specific men’s line.

Published on December 06, 2019

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