Sales of men's grooming products in supermarkets have been relatively flat over the past couple years, but that's likely to change as manufacturers start rolling out new lines of specialized, wellness-focused balms, gels, lotions and more.
According to trend-tracking firm Mintel, 2008 saw the introduction of more than 500 men's personal care products. That's way up from the 375 products that were new to market in 2007. It's also the beginning of a wave of new “advanced grooming” items that target specific grooming needs, according to Mintel beauty analyst Taya Tomasello. Offerings range from Jack Black industrial-strength hand healer with vitamins A and E to more mainstream products like Unilever's new Axe Skin Contact smoothing shower scrub, made using cactus milk to smooth and exfoliate skin.
“New personal care products for men today step beyond the basics of showering, shaving and deodorizing,” said Tomasello. “At both the high and low ends of the market, new men's grooming products try to provide tangible benefits based on appearance, specific body needs and ethical concerns.”
While not exactly a metrosexual revolution, the trend does seem to stem from the growing notion that, yes, it is OK for men to keep up their appearance.
“In contrast to women's personal care, the market for men's grooming is just opening,” said Tomasello.