Men are buying more grooming products in the Middle East fueled by greater employment and social-media trends. Like their female compatriots, men in the Middle East are increasingly concerned about the way they look, which is proving to be a boon for the grooming market in the region.
Spending by Middle Eastern men on male grooming products is predicted to grow by 25% to $829m in 2019, up from $662m in 2015, according to market-research company Euromonitor International. In the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) alone, the market is expected to see growth of 32% from $426m to $561m.
Key to the growth of the grooming market for men in the Middle East is the high proportion of young people, who are increasingly interested in taking care of their appearance and who are influenced by fashionable trends and social media. Rising disposable incomes in many countries will also fuel the category, although growth drivers do vary according to individual market conditions.
Growing Employment Fuels Growth
In Saudi Arabia, for example, Euromonitor reports that rising interest in men’s grooming is linked to growing employment levels and higher disposable incomes. Here, men are more willing to invest time and money in a grooming routine as being seen to be well-groomed and fashionable is increasingly linked to affluence and professional success. In addition, social taboos, which associated men who took pride in their appearance as a sign of reduced masculinity, are diminishing.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), men’s grooming routines are more entrenched and have become an essential part of a man’s daily lifestyle. Being well groomed is seen as designating a particular social class, as well as being essential to success in climbing the corporate ladder, reports Euromonitor. In addition, men in the UAE are no longer satisfied with using neutral or female products and are actively seeking out male-specific items in bath, shower and skincare categories, according to Euromonitor. Indeed, research company Global Information Inc predicts high growth in the skincare and haircare categories, in particular.
Meanwhile, in Egypt, where the focus of the men’s grooming market is on shaving, razors, blades and haircare products, it is expected that younger male consumers will seek out more skincare products. Euromonitor predicts men’s skincare products and premium skincare products will see growth of 9% and 7% respectively in the country.
While there is a clear opening in the Middle Eastern market for men’s skincare brands in particular, the entrenched position of Procter & Gamble in the region with its Gillette brand is notable. In the UAE the company commanded a leading 16% share of the category, while in Saudi Arabia its share reached 11%, according to Euromonitor. The market-research company notes that the wide range of products available under the Gillette brand and the use of international football player Lionel Messi – who is hugely popular in the region – in its marketing, has fuelled the brand’s growth. For other players looking to make their mark, the category remains tough and will require more differentiation or a more premium approach.