Asia’s Leading Men – 13.4 Billion Reasons Why the Male Grooming Market is Flexing Its Muscles

asian-manAs a commanding $13.4 billion business, the global male grooming market posted nearly 4% growth and is expected to reach $15.5 billion at the manufacturers’ level by 2017. However, the category’s performance has not been regionally uniform. Western Europe, the largest male grooming market, revealing low single-digit tumescence, while in Asia, the highly-advanced male grooming markets in South Korea and Japan, coupled with the newer vigorous markets of India and China, are driving the growth of the industry.

Two distinct paradigms are penetrating the Asian markets. Japan and South Korea are benefiting from male grooming, including the use of cosmetics, as an entrenched socially encouraged practice wherein men are seeking to retain a youthful appearance. By contrast, within China and India, male grooming as a trend has only recently been developing its significant potential and is being bolstered by greater disposable income among a large number of consumers.

Foreign brands increasing their cachet and expanding their distribution within the Asian markets -especially in the skin care category – are offering compelling images and spokes models to foster male grooming. Savvy male grooming product marketers, both foreign and domestic, have enlisted film and sports stars as brand ambassadors to attract new consumers to the segment.

Drawing upon the celebrated and highly influential Indian film industry, “Bollywood,” L’Oréal (Garnier Men) has recruited actor John Abraham as its brand ambassador while Emami (Fair and Handsome) has similarly appointed actor Sharukh Khan as the face of its brand.

Foreign brands, possessing technical expertise, facilities, and means to support innovation and marketing activities, are expected to capitalize upon these advantages and grow faster than domestic brands within China and India.

L’Oréal’s brands lead across Asia with the exception of Japan, where Mandom (Gatsby) claims the greatest market share and L’Oréal follows as the third largest.  Within South Korea HERA Homme (Amore Pacific) is the leading brand.

Popularized by local TV stars and the K-Pop music phenomenon and TV, the well groomed male is invigorating the South Korean male grooming market, growing at over 10% in 2012. The South Korean male grooming market is considerably advanced, and with the use of cosmetics a culturally accepted practice. The localization of imported brands is a significant trend in the South Korea as exemplified by Biotherm Homme signing Daniel Henney, an American actor and model whose mother is a Korean-American, as a brand ambassador.

The Japanese market remains subdued due to long-term factors including an increasingly low birthrate and an aging society. In fact, the entire Asian region is aging fast. China, for example, is seeing a faster median age increase than almost any other large country in recorded history. This might translate into the market being stimulated by older men who seek to mitigate the signs of aging.

The consumer component of Kline’s male grooming market research, with insights from over 1,500 males between the ages of 15 and 69 and spanning six core countries, reveals a major cultural shift observed across all age groups in countries where previously male grooming consisted of little more beyond basic cleaning and shaving.

The vibrant powerhouse that is Asia has huge untapped potential in the male grooming space and is forecast to post the strongest growth globally through 2017. The rising cultural acceptance of using male-specific products is certain to drive the growth of the male grooming market globally in the coming years.

Gain a complete picture of the market with Kline’s Male Grooming Products: Global Market Brief.

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