The concept of 'less is more' is key when packaging men's cosmetics products, according to Unilever quality manager Catherine Jiquet.
Speaking at the Luxe Pack conference held in Monaco, Jiquet was part of a team of packaging experts focusing on luxury cosmetics for men, and looking at what packaging trends are likely to influence sales.
"Consumers are more intrigued by the 'less is more' concept," she said. " We are now seeing requests from consumers to remove secondary cardboard packaging as they become more aware of sustainability issues."
What do French men want?
Jiquet was speaking on behalf of the French university ESEPAC along with Oxylane's Xavier Ferez and Condi's Julie Bas. They had conducted a study of over 700 French men regarding their interaction with luxury cosmetics and its packaging.
They found that the men opted more for a practical pack and prefer recyclable packaging. For this reason, they thought that the cardcoard pack is an excess but they would like the possibility of using it as a gift pack.
Other results from the survey showed that only 43 per cent of the men questioned used a day cream; but of those that do, the smell, the brand and the ergonomic aspect were the most important things.
Typical luxury packaging colours for men, such as black, blue and white, were preferred whilst containers like tubes and bottles were preferred over jars and refillable shapes.
Scandinavian men differ
This was in contrast to a survey on Scandinavian men, who opted instead for a bottle with a pump due to an increased feeling in hygiene and better perception of dosing. They also found that with a tube or jar, respondents said it could get complicated with the lid if it needed to be twisted on and off all the time.
The Scandinavian survey was conducted by Swedish school Broby Grafiska in partnership with ESEPAC, and was co-presented at Luxe Pack on the opening day.
In Scandinavia, Broby Grafiska found that there were trends for organic and simplicity. According to Elin Jansson, Johan Bovin Londahl and Linn Andersson at the packaging school, products targeting Scandinavian men need to be clean and communicate a clear message to the consumer.
"Sweden in particular is very trend sensitive," said Andersson. "We pick up new trends quickly. The Swedish people are known as early adopters."
In its study of Scandinavian men, Broby Grafiska found that even fewer (30 per cent) men use luxury day creams, and are more likely to opt for darker colours, with black a clear winner.