Online sales boost the men’s grooming market

Like so many other personal care categories, the men’s grooming industry was facing uncertainty at the start of 2021. Marketing departments were under pressure to operate on smaller budgets. Supply chains, manufacturing production and distribution channels have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic was at its peak in Africa, sales of men’s skincare products declined sharply in salons and mass markets. Brand managers have strived to reach customers through digital experimentation and personalization. Digital beauty consultants, counselors and social selling were some of the alternatives implemented.

Generation Z cares about their appearance.

With the end of 2021, marketers are optimistic about 2022 and beyond. The technological advances made through experimentation with digital connectivity are bearing fruit. These measures have kept the global cosmetics industry afloat and allowed the emergence of new categories and new customers.

The men’s grooming industry in Africa has always been about shaving products. But a change in the behavior, perception and lifestyle of consumers creates growth and diversity in the category. According to the United Nations, “Africa has the youngest population in the world with 70% of sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30. “

A growing population, expanding middle class, and internet-fueled globalization provide market opportunities for brand owners. Mordor Intelligence predicts that the Middle East and Africa market for men’s grooming products will have a CAGR of nearly 6.5% through 2025. Men’s grooming in Africa is segmented by product type like razors and blades . NPD focuses on activities before and after shaving. A category that was once generally static is getting a makeover. Launches include oils and balms that soothe razor-burnt skin or moisturize the skin. At the same time, there is a growing demand for thickening creams.

Sales of men’s shaving products plummeted due to COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown of non-essential retail that included barbershops and hair salons. The closures have dampened sales of high-end grooming products available only at salons. Additionally, the “COVID beard” became the norm as men avoided shaving.

Hence, facial skin care is on the rise for even more men. Brand owners are responding to this demand by creating not only unisex and androgenic product lines, but also solutions focused on the male consumer.

“We are seeing more and more men come into our store asking for specific products and skin care advice and products that can address issues such as hyperpigmentation, acne and uneven skin tone,” reports Tutuwa Ahwoi, founder of Nokware Skincare, Ghana.

African men marry later and have higher disposable incomes. They invest in quality products to improve personal hygiene and well-being. It is well known that Gen Z men care more about their appearance than previous generations. Good grooming habits can pay off. Insurance policies from companies such as Discovery Health in South Africa include lifestyle and wellness discounts, for the new generation of African men, who put their health and well-being first. be general. The main market players, Procter & Gamble, Beiersdorf, Bic Group, Dorco Co. Ltd. and Edgewell Personal Care, lead, but do not dominate, this fragmented market. Local brands focus on more than just basic haircuts and hair care.

Successful businesses create experiences and allow men to enjoy grooming services in a space designed especially for them. Manicures, pedicures, massages and beauty treatments are increasingly popular with African male consumers. The South African chain of Sorbet service salons has added Sorbet Man to more than 20 franchise stores nationwide. Traditional haircuts come with eyebrow threading, nose waxes, and offerings like keratin hair straightening, facials, Hollywood waxes, and massages. They’re all a long way from a simple shave and haircut.

Mass brands, through distribution in supermarkets, pharmacies and hypermarkets, are the market leaders. But mass retailers are creating their own internal brands to reach men looking for lower prices. Woolworths in South Africa launched a seven-item line in 2017. Longmarket Barber includes shaving cream, aftershave balm, beard oil, shower gel and shower gel, shaving product and a product for the body. Soap , hair wax and exfoliating facial cleanser.

E-commerce enables local and smaller brands to reach the consumer with digital retail environments. One is Nubian Nature in South Africa.

“We are primarily an e-commerce brand distributed in natural hair salons and barbers,” said Shereen Makhanye, founder of Nubian Nature.

The macroeconomic environment in Africa remains volatile, marked by events such as the riots at the end of SARS in Nigeria, the riots against ex-President Jacob Zuma in South Africa and, more recently, the coup d’état in Sudan. Despite this volatility, the market remains desirable. This is because there is a growing base of young male consumers with disposable income who care about their appearance far beyond a simple haircut and shave.

As stated in a recent report by Euromonitor International, “Although Africa is a smaller market for hair care products compared to other regions, it offers great opportunities, especially given its growing population. “


Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao

Malée, founder
[email protected]

Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao is an entrepreneur, influential speaker, sought-after brand consultant and freelance columnist specializing in innovation, sustainability and leadership in the cosmetics, luxury goods and start-up industries. As the founder of Malée, the world’s leading luxury perfume and body care brand in Africa, a member of the advisory board of Innocos, the world summit for beauty innovations, Oriaikhi-Sao has established itself as a leader in the luxury goods market made in Africa. She has been featured on CNN, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. She hosts the Third Culture Africans podcast and inspires a wide audience with entrepreneurship and lifestyle insights on zezeonline.


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