Grooming gear helps keep beards in check
GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. — While watching the amount of men with facial hair expand by double digits since 2008, Howard Brauner, VP of new product development at Universal Beauty Products, saw an opportunity in the market.
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“There were relatively no products for taking care of beards,” Brauner said. “It was really an online cottage industry.” On the other hand, there was swelling demand for beard oils and balms for styling. “The problem was there were so many different suppliers online, each with different oils, that there was confusion,” he added.
But with some studies showing that beards can be dirtier than toilets, Brauner knew he was onto something. The result was Beard Guyz, a complete regimen for beard care. The lineup includes Daily Wash 35 (the total number of ingredients in the formula), Deep Conditioner 25, Balm for Course Hair, Balm for Fine to Medium Hair and Beard Oil 25. The ingredients are high quality, natural and organic. All SKUs are priced at $14.99. The company plans to add a fragrance next year.
“Men want to see their choices and not just be forced to buy what is on shelves,” Brauner said.
Grooming options for facial hair grow
Move over metrosexuals and lumbersexuals. The new guy in town is a spornosexual. He’s buff, isn’t afraid to admit to using moisturizers and has the confidence to make his own decisions about facial hair. He might grow out a beard during No-Shave November and go sleek the next month.
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Facial hair, according to Steven Yde, VP marketing at Wahl Clipper, is an expression of style for more than 65% of men. Ten years ago, the average male shaved five times per week. Now, that’s down to two to three, he noted.
The confluence of several factors — the drop in shaving incidence, enhancements in blades so they last longer and growth of such online shaving clubs as Harry’s and Dollar Shave — have put a nick in sales.
According to data from IRI for the 52-week period ended Aug. 9, the blade category is off 2.5% to $2.5 billion in all mass units tracked. Cartridges took the biggest hit — down almost 6%. The razor category still generates healthy volume with sales up more than 7% thanks to such innovative items as the Flexiball razors from the Gillette Fusion franchise. Shaving cream eked out a 1.2% increase.
Retailers and manufacturers plan to inject new life into sales with products adding value, better assortments in men’s grooming boutiques and wider price options. And some think the tide is changing on facial hair preferences. Michael Law, senior director for customer strategy and planning at Edgewell Personal Care formerly Energizer), noted facial hairstyles are cyclic. “We believe we have passed the peak beard facial hair trend,” he said.
No matter what the future delivers, hair and no hair both require some form of maintenance. Chains can no longer rely on making margins on shavers and driving volume and traffic with cartridges. The time is right for fresh thinking.
Although women account for a healthy slice of shaver sales, men are making 85% of their shaving decisions, Law noted. Those men are critical, according to James Russo, SVP global consumer insights at Nielsen, because the men’s market represents “low-hanging fruit” to help merchants offset sluggish personal care sales. Just adding blades with the latest gimmick isn’t enough to build sales anymore.
Law suggested, “Retailers need to ask themselves, ‘Is my merchandising set up to convert these important shoppers.’”
One area to combat the migration to online clubs is to broaden pricing. Offering more value can diminish online claims of keener pricing. Building a cohesive and easy-to-shop men’s department also is paramount because men don’t like to traverse many aisles, suppliers said. H-E-B is heralded for creating its Man Cave approach. Rite Aid received a nod for a new ramped-up men’s department with prices for every shopper’s budget.
For their part, manufacturers are doing more to tap into demand for shaving to be part of overall skin care. Schick Xtreme3 razor cartridge, for example, has a larger lubrication strip with vitamin E, aloe and shea butter.
Even the move to facial hair requires special products. Bic’s Flex 5 was designed with beards in mind and has a precision-edging blade. Retailers also said they’ve seen an uptick in groomers and trimmers for men looking for all-over hair removal. And, there’s growing demand for shaving creams using more skin care ingredients.
Beyond just launching new items, marketers are taking competition head on. Gillette recently improved its own direct shave club, which offers a shave plan, as well as an option to just receive rewards. Wahl takes to the streets to educate consumers with its 40-ft. mobile barbershop, which travels the country interacting with consumers. Education, Yde said, is especially crucial with millennials who seek authenticity.
Law noted the mass market is still the “go-to” channel for shaving. “Retailers have tremendous strength in their current assortments to compete on value versus shave clubs, but they aren’t fully communicating this,” he suggested. “If you don’t convert men in your shaving category, you don’t have the opportunity to convert them in other segments of grooming to gain bigger baskets and a greater share of wallet.”
Shaving is the gateway to building other men’s grooming category sales, especially skin care. Seizing that opportunity is an up-and-coming brand, Bee Bald. Calling it more than shaving items for bald men, founder Dennis Fisher sees it as a line to deliver incremental volume. “When I created the line, I was looking to provide quality products, for both my face and head, that I would buy and use myself. Our products are used and enjoyed by men with and without hair, as well as women,” he said. The latest is a new moisturizer with SPF 30.
Margins stay consistent for top toothpaste brands
Within the toothpaste category, Colgate Total and Crest 3D White were the two brands from their respective manufacturers that displayed the highest sales, and they both displayed higher units sold on promotion (28%). Sensodyne Pronamel was the top brand in toothpastes for GlaxoSmithKline, and it saw a much lower percent of promotion than other top brands (15%). For the last 52 weeks, sales were up compared with the previous 52 weeks for both Crest 3D White (23%) and Sensodyne Pronamel (15%), while sales were down for Colgate Total (-3%).
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CPR’s trade spending analysis indicated that when deals were offered during the last year, Colgate offered the highest average total discount, showing on average 17% off list price for any off-invoice allowances or bill backs. However, the Colgate Total brand alone saw an average discount of only 12% for deals, perhaps contributing to the decrease in sales this year. GlaxoSmithKline (Sensodyne) offered an average of 16% total discount, while Church & Dwight (Arm & Hammer) offered an average of 13%, and P&G (Crest) offered just 9% off, on average.
For the top toothpaste brands, margins were very consistent. The manufacturers of Crest, Colgate and Sensodyne controlled 89% of the market last year, and these brands reflected a spread of only 2% difference in average margin percentages within each of the mass, food and drug channels. Of these top brands, Sensodyne saw the highest margins in all three channels. Arm & Hammer was an outlier, showing margin percentages nearly 10 points higher, on average, than the other brands.
Colgate displayed the highest count of feature ads in the United States for the past three months (1,796). Sensodyne and Arm & Hammer both saw very little in the way of feature ads (178 and 212, respectively). The highest number of features were run at Kroger (362) followed by Kmart (118). Colgate’s feature ads showed the smallest percentage of price-only ads, with 45% compared with the other brands, which all saw a 50% or higher proportion of price-only ads.
DSN has partnered with Competitive Promotion Report and IRI to create a series of exclusive reports. This article highlights the market performance of major brands in the toothpaste category over the past 24 months ended Aug. 9. This analysis was gathered using CPR, IRI and ECRM data in terms of growth in retail sales, retailer margin percentages and retailer ads in the toothpastes category.
CPR is a leading provider of competitive market intelligence and insights in the health, beauty and wellness industry. Learn more by visiting competitivepromotion.com