NEW DELHI: Indian men are spending more time and money on their appearance, prompting FMCG and beauty brands to develop new product ranges for this market.

A study from trade body ASSOCHAM late last year found that Indian men’s grooming market had grown more than 42% over the previous five years, while research firm Nielsen reported that the use of face-cleansing products among men in India has increased 60-fold in the past seven years.

The reasons are various but include a desire to gain a competitive edge in the jobs market, according to Nielsen, while niche areas such as beard care have been driven by film stars and cricketers sporting a facially hirsute look.

“From being mere buyers of razors and shaving creams about a decade back, men are currently spending a handsome part of their disposable income on grooming sessions and buying skincare products,” Vandana Luthra, founder of beauty and wellness firm VLCC, told the Economic Times.

Ashutosh Valani, founder of Beardo, has observed a similar trend as the previously non-existent beard-care market has grown to Rs 100 crore in just a couple of years. “It’s not only the beard,” he said, “ it’s the overall acceptance of men to groom themselves, that has grown.”

That means men are looking for products that cater to them specifically rather than borrowing women’s products or settling for unisex items. VLCC, for example, is “hopping on the bandwagon” to introduce a men’s Ayurvedic skincare range.

Valani, meanwhile, expects the beard-care market, which includes everything from beard oils to beard colouring, to continue growing for at least the next five years.

Sales of men’s grooming products have tended to be focused on cities but there are signs that is changing as brands produce entry-level packs for semi-urban and rural markets.

“Going for introductory packs is expected to be a big trend in the beard-care market,” according to Arnab Banerjee, sales and marketing head at JL Morison India which owns the Bigen hair colour brand.

“This will take the category to the next level.”

Sourced from Economic Times, ASSOCHAM; additional content by WARC staff