Male beauty market shows potential upward trend

Reporter: Trista SHI

Editor: Jasmine ZHOU

More and more men are using beauty products these days while different from women, men generally focus on cleaning efficiency and clear feeling therefore they have more requirement on skin care products. Hong Kong is expected to be an embarking market for male beauty in the near future, due to the sound foundation of beauty product retailing and a broad customer source, said by an analyst from HKTDC.

Male cosmetics shows upward trend in sales across Asia

The sale of male cosmetics shows a continuous upward trend in Asia-Pacific region despite consumers’ different tastes.

From a research of Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKDTC), the market of male beauty products surges quickly in Asia-Pacific regions. the

retail sales of male grooming products reached to $33 billion in 2015, according to Euromonitor International,  the Asian market is US$21 billion, accounts for 64% of the whole consumption volume. The spend for male cosmetics and skin care products is expected to increase by 10% in the following 12 months

Meanwhile, a number of personal care brands have launched cosmetics targeting at men. Since from another research of HKDTC, ‘Brand’was chosen by 75% of the interviewees as the initial factor of purchasing a beauty product, following by ‘Reputation’(62%), ‘Efficacy’ 50%.

Alice Tsang, an economist of greater China research team from HKTDC, points out that Hong Kong has a promising future in the male beauty market. She explained that as one of the Asian trading centres, Hong Kong is used by international brands to be the testing ground to further explore Asia market.

Male Internet celebrities boost male beauty market

On social media like Instagram, there are some men beauty bloggers who are as influential as women bloggers in terms of recommending beauty products.

“Hong Kong is easy to take in a new concept that men also need good appearance,” says Eurco Chiu, a male beauty Youtuber. Eurco was the only male participant in the program Beauty Bound HK held by SK-II in 2016, which aiming at searching for Asia's next top beauty creator.

From the videos on his own channel, Eurco often uses high-end cosmetic products from international brands as tutorial or experience sharing cases. He normally spends up to HK$10000, accounts for more than 50% of his earnings for grooming products. His male fans had told him that those videos are influential in making younger generation consuming grooming products.

“There is a driving purchasing power from men in grooming products,” says Eurco, “wearing make-up is a common thing nowadays. Sometimes certain kinds of jobs require make-up for men, such as professional men dressers or some receptionists of fashion brands, to show a company spirit.”

However, Eurco’s opinion can only represents the younger generation on this issue. From HKDTC’s research, 39% of male interviewees have used makeup products, 74% on special occasions, like interviews, to look more tidy and smooth. What they use are not as complicated as Eurco, but only suncreen, BB cream and makeup remover.

Ambiguous guidance in male beauty products loses potential customers

Mentholatum, a cosmetic brand featured in male basic skin care, has pushed out over 20 kinds of products aiming at male facial condition problems. As for High-end brands, SK-II also make men exclusive Facial Treatment Essence to market sooner after the original one becomes a hit worldwide.

However, the sales growth rate of the male beauty market narrowed to 3.1%, which was estimated as averagely 5.7% through the last five years, according to Euromonitor. Although Hong Kong can attracts customers from mainland China and south-east Asian countries like Thailand, the revenue from cosmetic products records no growth in 2016 comparing to 2015, from Euromonitor.

Alice Tsang points out the core problem in Hong Kong men grooming market. “Some beauty products don’t set a clear target in the market which is hard to fit into the competition today.” She also said that mainland men tourists are more likely to buy cosmetic products online since the e-commerce in China is more mature but they are more easily to be persuaded if the sellers recommended new products. Hong Kong has a variety of male grooming products as important potential revenue increase. ‘From the customers’ perspective, a larger proportion of potential men purchasers lack guidance in facial care’ she added, ‘the society and the brand need to take this chance to earn customers for further market development of male beauty products.’

《The Young Financial Post 新報人財經》

新報人財經(TYFP)為香港浸會大學新聞系財經專業的實驗平台,由學生自主編採,為社會大眾提供中港相關的金融財經消息。

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