Men’s personal care is the fastest growing segment in the bath and body care category. In part driven by the massification of metrosexuals, the most critical aspect of this trend has been the growth of a youth culture which places increasing social and media pressure on men to be young, fit and well groomed. The job market is flooded with aging Boomer men who are striving to maintain their competitive advantage through greater investment in their personal appearance. The culmination of these factors is driving market expansion across generations and giving men a new-found permission to participate fully in the category. Interest in having natural, organic and eco elements to their personal care products (not just in the foods that they eat) and the prevalence of these products in mainstream retail environments is also leading more men to the category.
According to Linda Povey, a Vice President of Strategic Consulting at NMI, “More men are gaining exposure to the personal care category as a direct result of their participation as primary grocery shoppers. Men’s role as the primary grocery shopper has almost doubled from 26% in 1999 to 41% in 2006, allowing them greater access and interaction with products and brands.”
Because of this shift, look for men to become increasingly accommodated in traditionally female environments such as grocery, drug and specialty retail. The challenge will be for retailers to understand how men shop, representing a unique opportunity in effectively marketing and merchandising to them versus women.