Economic woes help groom men’s care segment at mass

Antoinette Alexander

The men’s grooming segment continues to be an attractive category for manufacturers, and there is evidence that the wobbly economy has helped bolster the segment at mass.

Valued at $19.7 billion worldwide in 2009, male-specific grooming products will mushroom to $28 billion by 2014, stated consumer market research publisher Packaged Facts in its “Men’s Grooming Products: A Global Analysis” report published in November 2009.

“From either perspective, more is being spent on men’s grooming, thanks to the ongoing rise of middle-class sectors; the enhanced connectivity of even the poorest corners of the world, via the Internet; marketers’ more sophisticated appeals to men; and the universality of prestige and natural food/HBC channels across hundreds of international borders,” stated Packaged Facts.

Recognizing the potential, manufacturers continue to churn out products made to appeal to him. One such example is Johnson Products, a maker of ethnic hair care products, which is entering the men’s grooming segment in 2011 with the launch of its Ultra Sheen Men. The grooming collection, which includes grooming gel and wave conditioning pomade, is geared toward the “urban trendsetter man who has style and swagger,” according to the company.

The economy has helped bolster sales of the Lithium Ion grooming kit by Wahl Clipper, which launched in the first half of 2009 and has a suggested retail price of $39.99. “The big shining star for us has been our Lithium Ion grooming kit,” Steven Yde, senior product manager at Wahl Clipper, told Drug Store News. “We’ve really seen a trend, when the economic times were tough, of people trading up because men think, ‘I’m going to buy something that is going to last.’”

Meanwhile, Beiersdorf’s Nivea for Men is gearing up for new skin care and body wash launches in 2011, but details were not available as of press time. The brand recently shipped, among other gift sets, its Nivea for Men gift set ($9.99 retail at Walgreens, CVS and Walmart). The set includes Cool hair and body wash, Sensitive shaving gel, Sensitive post shave balm and Replenishing lip balm SPF 4.

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