p> The personal care industry already has the right products for a raft of male problems, from a shaving rash to baldness.
ACNielsen has identified the blossoming of the 'metro-sexual' man as one of the key trends in personal care. According to a recent ACNielsen report the male population, now more focused on improving its self-image, has boosted sales in personal care products.
This increased interest in grooming among the male population has had manufacturers developing products specifically for them. In March 2004, Procter & Gamble announced an exclusive licensing agreement with OT OverTime to market a line of personal care products developed for tweenies and teenage boys.
Unilever's male-focused brand Axe has expanded into a number of categories. Initially a deodorant in spray form, Axe is now also available as deodorant in a roll-on form, shower gel, pre-shave, aftershave, and as a hair styling product.
"We launched Axe in North America with a campaign targeting young men between 14 and 24 - a group that spends around $8 billion a year on personal grooming products," said a Unilever statement.
Body cleansing shower gel and deodorants have both experienced significant growth due to new male activity. In the UK, the total category of body cleansing & moisturising product area grew by 4 per cent, but the male segment grew by 18 per cent.
Examining the latest trends in male personal care use, market analysts Datamonitor forecast in a recent report that the European male grooming market will grow at an annual rate of four per cent over the next five years.
According to the report men in the UK spend each year £65 m on skincare products, £88 m on fragrances and £278m on hair grooming. Men aged between 20 and 40 spend an average of £111 a year on beauty products, which is only £27 less than women from the same age group.
Datamonitor describes the 'metro-sexual' as an urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.
There are fundamental changes in male attitudes driving this market, says the report. Men increasingly believe that their appearance is crucial to their success. About 89 per cent of men in Europe and the US consider that good grooming and general presentation is essential to their professional success.
The report makes the following conclusions: the average age of male consumers is increasing due to the aging population and ; removing embarrassment is key to encouraging experimentation; and most men value function over fashion.
In addition, men want speed, convenience and immediate results; portability is also important and 'metro-sexuals' are a key opinion forming group.
The report suggests that the beauty companies should shift from alcohol-based products to gentler formulations, and target women as they are important purchasers of male products.
Further research on the European market for men's grooming products by the business information group Mintel says that sales of male skincare products increased about five times in the last five years.
The company found that one man in four uses moisturiser, one in three applies mousse to his hair every day and more than seven out of 10 wear aftershave.
Mintel gives an example with Germany where "with high unemployment and a well-groomed appearance associated with success, men will remain keen to spend money on their appearance.
"The changing nature of employment, with men shifting to white-collar jobs from traditional male blue-collar jobs may also lead to men needing to take more care over their appearance," concludes Mintel.