Shaving has long been a necessary chore for both men and women. However, the rise of metrosexual man, who is more willing to embrace the concept of male grooming, combined with a market recognising the potential of products specifically targeting women, has resulted in a booming shaving product sector expected to be worth £642m by 2010. There has been constant innovation in both wet-shaving equipment and shaving preparations, as the top companies vie for market share, and there are opportunities to attract more teens and older consumers.
Sales of shaving products grew 24% between 2000 and 2004 to £472m in a market expected to be worth £494m in 2005, according to Mintel.
This booming sector is divided into four categories: wet-shaving equipment, electric shavers, shaving preparations and other hair-removal options such as depilatory creams.
Wet-shaving equipment such as razors and blades make up 50.6% of the market. It is the favourite method of shaving for men and women, and system razors with replacement blades are the most popular choice. Electric shavers hold 21% of the market.
The aging population, with more over-65s, presents the industry with many opportunities. As beard growth invariably becomes heavier with age, for example, manufacturers could target products specifically at older men.
Manufacturers can also take advantage of opportunities at the younger end of the shaving products market, especially among teenage girls. Women's choice of hair removal is often determined in their teens, so companies can target this group to encourage brand loyalty as they become adults.
While 87% of men shave, less than half (43%) of the male population shave every day, according to TGI data. Electric shavers are losing favour and now just over a fifth of men own one, often using it between wet shaves.
Among women, electric shaving is even less popular, with only 9% using electric shavers or epilators. Slightly more than 57% of women wet shave.
Philips leads the electric shaver market, followed by Braun and Remington.
Electric shaver sales were worth £99m in 2004, an increase of 11% since 2000. Although electric shavers are less popular than razors, their manufacturers have innovated in a bid to rejuvenate the market, with the introduction of body hair groomers.
Philips launched its shaver and trimmer Bodygroom in April 2005 with a £1m promotional budget. It can be used wet or dry and allows men to achieve a smooth, hair-free look.
In 2004, sales of razors and blades reached £239m (up 33% since 2000) and Mintel expects this to rise to £252m for 2005. Product innovation and new design has meant this has been a dynamic subsector for the past 10 years.
Gillette dominates the wet sector with a 66% market share, followed by Wilkinson Sword and Bic. Gillette is also the dominant player in the shaving preparation market, with 56% share, followed by King of Shaves.
Acquired for $57bn (£32bn) by Procter & Gamble in July 2005, Gillette has been at the forefront of new technology. It launched the first triple-blade razor, the Mach 3, in 1998 and more recently a version called M3 Power Nitro.
Last September the firm announced that it was introducing Gillette Fusion, a five-blade razor, which also has a single blade on the reverse side for sideburns. It will launch in the US in the first quarter of this year and is available in manual and power versions.
Wilkinson Sword had been fighting back with the launch of a four-blade razor, Quattro, the first of its kind, though it may now have to press ahead once again with NPD. The company also produces Xtreme 3 triple blade disposable razors and a range of shaving gels. It has several products targeting women, including Intuition and the disposable Lady Protector brand, although Gillette was the first manufacturer to truly target this market with specially designed razors with the launch of Venus in 2001.
Shaving preparation sales rose just 4% between 2000 and 2004 to £80m.
This slow growth is a result of fierce price cuts imposed by major multiples.
Preparations are increasingly created with added skincare benefits. Gels are the most popular format, overtaking foams, which are most widely used by older men.
King of Shaves, launched in 1993, has been a pioneer in the gel market and introduced the small but growing market for shaving oils. It has since extended its range and grown into the second-biggest player in this subsector, adding women's products to its range. It is currently redesigning its packaging and the company's founder Will King has said it may extend into the razor market in coming years.
While there is some innovative product development and heavy investment in the shaving market, there are still under-exploited areas, such as the women's shaving market, in terms of both products and preparations.
The market is expected to grow steadily over the next few years to reach a value of £642m by 2010.
ADSPEND ON WET-SHAVE PRODUCTS BY MANUFACTURER AND BRAND JAN-AUG 2005 Spend Spend share £000 (%) 1 Gillette 10,131 85.0 Venus range 4665 39.2 Mach 3 razor 112 0.9 Mach 3 Turbo razor 262 2.2 M3 Power razor 2868 24.1 M3 Power Nitro razor 754 6.3 Sensor range 1451 12.2 Other Gillette 18 0.2 2 Wilkinson Sword 1634 13.7 Intuition razor 448 3.8 Intuit Hydrasoft 653 5.5 Quattro range 530 4.4 Other Wilkinson Sword 3 0.0 3 Bic razor range 149 1.3 Other Bic 0.2 * Total 11,914 100 Source: Nielsen Media Research/Mintel *negligible MANUFACTURERS' SHAVING PREPARATION SALES BY VALUE AND MARKET SHARE 2004 2002 02-04 pounds m % pounds m % % chng 1 Gillette 45 56.3 43 55.8 4.7 2 King Of Shaves 10 12.5 8 10.4 25.0 3 Nivea for Men 8 10.0 6 7.8 33.3 4 Colgate-Palmolive 2 2.5 3 3.9 -33.3 5 Wilkinson Sword 2 2.5 2 2.6 - 6 Own-label/other 13 16.3 15 19.5 -13.3 Total 80 100 77 100 3.9 Source: Mintel RAZOR AND BLADE SALES BY SEGMENT VALUE 2004 2002 02-04 pounds m % pounds m % % chng 1 Replacement blades 143 59.8 134 62.9 6.7 2 Disposables 55 23.0 51 23.9 7.8 3 Systems 41 17.2 28 13.1 46.4 Total 239 100.0 213 100.0 12.2 Source: Mintel
ANALYST COMMENT - ELAINE THOMPSON CLIENT EXECUTIVE, TNS
Value in the UK male-shaving preparations market has been driven by innovation and premiumisation from the top three players: Gillette, King of Shaves and Nivea for Men.
Market growth can be attributed to men spending more on the sector and buying it more frequently.
As market leader, Gillette has seen growth over and above the market in the past 12 months, aided by the launches of Mach 3 Turbo Gel and Mach 3 Nitro Gel. Mach 3 is Gillette's premium offering and accounts for 8% value share within male-shaving preparations, making it the third-biggest brand in its own right.
The influence of higher average prices, particularly for Gillette, has been a strong driver of total market growth. Consumers are spending more on the category and the average price paid increased by 4% over the past year. The success of these brands has shown that men are happy to trade up to a more premium offering.
Within this increasingly competitive market, King of Shaves has attracted men with sensitive skin, and introduced Magnagel, which contains enhanced particles, which'stick' to the blade, making for a smoother shave.
Nivea for Men shaving preparations are part of a very successful total skincare regime which demonstrates the opportunity for the products to be used as a tool to attract men into the growing facial skincare market.
The past 10 years have seen constant growth in male skincare products - 20% of men now use them. Many of these products are pre- and post-shave balms, suggesting more men are adopting a more involved shaving routine.