MANILA: The men's grooming category is experiencing a surge of growth in the Philippines according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel.

The research firm surveyed 3,000 households in urban and rural areas across the country and reported that not only are more men looking for gender-specific products but they are also willing to spend more on such items.

Facial care, deodorant, shampoo and fragrance products have all benefitted from this increased interest, Business World reported.

Spending on male-specific shampoo went up from P110 to P123 on average, for example, while there was also an 18% increase in the average spend on male facial care products, from P127 to P150.

Male deodorant products, meanwhile, now account for 28% of the total deodorant market in the country and the male shampoo category added almost another 1m buyers during the year.

Overall, Kantar Worldpanel found a near-threefold increase in the rate of sales growth of male personal care products in the year to March 2016, when sales were up 22% compared to 8% in the preceding 12 months.

The trend is being driven in part by structural changes in the economy. Euromonitor International noted that there were now more middle-to-high income professional jobs available which typically require greater attention to one's appearance.

Another factor is social changes: as people get married later, so men have more time to indulge themselves in personal care regimes.

Kantar Worldpanel also observed that particular regions, namely Visayas and Mindanao, were leading the growth in the sector.

"The market is becoming more and more segmented but is getting more and more personal as well," said Lourdes Deocareza, New Business Development Head at Kantar Worldpanel.

"This trend presents opportunities for brands to increase their marketing strategies to get even more personal and reach out to Filipino male shoppers who are making more gender-specific choices and purchases," she added.

Data sourced from Business World, Euromonitor International; additional content by Warc staff