Men’s bath and shower and men’s deodorants registered the strongest performances in men’s grooming in 2018, and this is expected to continue during the forecast period, driven by rising awareness of sumehara, which translates as “smell harassment”. Over the review period, the word sumehara, which refers to the act of causing discomfort to others, particularly in the workplace via unpleasant body odours, rose to prominence in Japan.
Seeing the increasing demand from men, manufacturers actively launched body washes and deodorants with the function of preventing body odour, specifically targeted towards men. Companies are also beginning to take action to spread awareness of the issue, including asking their employees to attend “smell care” seminars hosted by Mandom, which the latter officially started hosting from 2014.
Men’s skin care is expected to see gradual growth over the forecast period, amidst growing awareness of the need for such products amongst male consumers. Whilst men’s skin care is relatively underdeveloped, with a shorter history than other men's grooming categories, it has come to be gradually recognised amongst Japanese consumers, thanks to manufacturers' active promotional activities and awareness-raising campaigns.
Mandom Corp maintained its lead in men's grooming in value terms in 2018, thanks to the strong loyalty of Japanese consumers to its powerful brands Gatsby and Lúcido. Whilst the company was traditionally known for its hair care products, as it saw a decreasing trend in styling agents in Japan, it started to shift its focus to skin care and deodorants, which it believes have large growth potential.
As consumer demand for men's grooming increases, more and more companies are expanding their portfolios and trying to enter men's grooming, especially men’s skin care. For instance, Daiichi Sankyo, which previously offered only female skin care products, expanded the product lines of its female skin care brand, Minon, and added Minon Men, skin care products for men with sensitive skin, for the first time in 2018.
As men’s skin care products gradually increased in popularity in recent years, more and more companies entered the category, further highlighting its potential. For example, Schick Japan, one of the leading companies in men's shaving, entered skin care, no longer offering only shaving products, but also skin care products.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Beauty and Personal Care market research database.