In the UK, depilatories saw yet another year of disappointing performance in 2018, with every category facing contracting growth in both value and volume terms. With shaving and at-home hair removal often considered as inconvenient and time consuming, British consumers are increasingly edging towards longer-lasting or permanent solutions, such as professional waxing and laser hair removal.
At the other end of the spectrum, some consumers have taken a more relaxed approach to shaving altogether, another factor causing the category to decline. There is a trend towards embracing an “au natural” look, and a number of media campaigns aimed to eliminate the “taboos” associated with shaving.
With traditional razors and blades facing tough competition from alternatives such as epilators and trimming tools, brands should look for ways to premiumise existing lines such as by adding more features or blades, and making the products more targeted. Whilst the most recent launches come from Gillette’s 2017 triple launch of Venus Face Perfection, Venus Platinum Extra Smooth and Venus Bikini Precision, innovation was lacking over 2018.
In 2018, Procter & Gamble remained the leader, with its Gillette brand holding the category’s highest value share. Reckitt Benckiser followed closely behind with its hair removal brand Veet, and in third place was Wilkinson Sword.
Consumers are increasingly trusting private label for essential beauty buys, particularly those that already own established beauty brands. Grocery retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s offer their own private label disposable razors and shaving gel, and are attempting to premiumise their products in an effort to match the quality of major brands, but at cheaper price points.
As consumers experience progressively hectic lifestyles, and hence seek products that offer convenience and ease of use, female shaving subscription services are gaining momentum. One example is South Korean player Dorco, which offers UK females monthly subscription boxes with razors and blades, with prices starting from GBP3.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Beauty and Personal Care market research database.