Datamonitor Comment

Africa flagged to be the next male grooming market

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Africa flagged to be the next male grooming market

Related tags Skin care Skin Africa

As global cosmetic brands rush to tailor products to meet consumers’ needs in Africa; Datamonitor Consumer says there is an emerging audience that cosmetics firms should pay attention to – black African men.

According to the market researcher, the culture of male grooming has evolved rapidly over the past few years and offers significant growth potential for the future.

"African men are not shy about shopping for – and using – grooming products to improve their appearance​," Datamonitor Consumer​ researcher Massiata Barro tells

However, while there is a growing middle class with greater spending power, and aspirational consumer attitudes, Barro says there is a notable lack of choice of grooming product


s that specifically address the skin care needs of this consumer group.

"Black African women have an array of products available for them on the market; the same cannot be said for black African men​," she says. 

For example, the researcher tells this publication that African men generally face skin care issues such as razor bumps (because their curly beards are more susceptible to ingrown hairs), oily skin, and pigmentation.

So, to overcome this, they would need to follow a certain skin care routine by using products like face cleansers, and scrubs to remove dead skin, skin toners, and moisturizers.

Players already catering to this market...

Major global brands such as L’Oreal, P&G, Estée Lauder, and Unilever have already developed expansion strategies to capitalize on Africa's potentially lucrative beauty market, estimated to be worth $13.2bn in 2017.

Who would have said that African men appreciate and love a Vaseline for Men face range? But absolutely, they do​,” R&D director for skin products at Unilever, Craig Luck said of the strategy.

Smaller, local players like entrepreneur Tsakani Mashaba also recognized a gap in the market, launching the first skin care range for this segment in South Africa back in 2010, called Michael Makiala for Men.

However, despite the growing focus on looks and appearance, Barro warns that the reality of poverty and unequal distribution of wealth in Africa cannot be ignored.

"Beauty brands wishing to establish themselves and succeed in this continent could benefit by limiting their target audience - at least in the initial launch stages, to a niche segment like young professional men who can afford to buy mid-high end products​," she gives by way of example.

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