Most Men Still Buying Female Grooming Products: Kantar Worldpanel Study

Kantar Worldpanel presented a report on consumer behaviour and growth opportunities for marketers in the FMCG Industry

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 27, 2018 8:55 AM

Emami gave men their own fairness cream back in 2005. The message was simple: Don’t use the product designed for women, use the one specially made for the male skin types. Thirteen years on, only one in three Indian male consumers buy face creams meant for men. This number drops further in the case of face washes. Only one-fourth of Indian men are buying products meant for men.

Menz Panel

A study by Kantar Worldpanel on male consumers in India found that FMCG brands have a major growth opportunity in the male consumers belonging to SEC A, B, C in the 10L+ towns in the age group of 15-55. Kantar Worldpanel for the first time ever has studied male consumers as a separate panel. The ‘Menz Panel’ was launched in January 2018 and the team already has some insightful findings about male consumers in India.

Interestingly, 77 per cent of all men end up using talcum powders with floral fragrances because they lack options. Commenting on why men are still using products meant for women, K Ramakrishnan, Country Head, Kantar Worldpanel said, “Conventionally we have bought products for the household, and that has not gone away. Individual categories are growing but it is still early days and these categories are just about emerging now.” Listing out other possible reasons, Ramakrishnan said, “Perhaps there are not enough products available exclusively for men. Men’s talc may have only a couple of exclusive products. In fact, the category of deodorants has a higher percentage of products for men. Limited options in the category impacts availability and that in turn impacts awareness.”

Rural Deep Dive

The other deep dive that the team did for the annual study was on the factors driving growth in rural India. Growth in rural India has been outpacing urban India for the last three years. According to Kantar Worldpanel a rural focussed strategy is a must for brands. Currently, rural India contributes to 55 per cent of FMCG volume. The study also found that food and beverage and personal care are showing accelerated growth in rural India.

“We have noticed that one of the strongest trends that drives consumption in rural India is non-farm employment. Higher the non-farm employment, higher the consumption of FMCG products,” said Ramakrishnan. The other factors driving growth are rural inflation, small packs consumption and consumption of personal care products.

Ramakrishnan explained how small changes initiated by the government can impact growth. Citing the example of the move to LPG from choolhas, he said, “Suddenly women had more time on their hands. More time builds productivity, and that translates to more money and therefore higher consumption. Also, it allows pester power from kids, neighbours, driving up consumption. And thirdly, women are more aware of themselves, thereby spending on grooming products for themselves.” Similarly he said that connecting villages by roads increases consumption as it increases the scope for distribution. “The MNREGA scheme also drove up consumption because it gave people non-farm employment.”

Local Brands Denting MNCs

The study found that local brands are growing faster than the category itself. Manoj Menon, commercial director, Kantar Worldpanel, advised brands to watch out for local brands because these brands may suddenly gain significant market share and turn out to be formidable competitors. Local brands are not just taking away market share from large MNCs in rural areas but also in metro cities, the study found. “There are only two ways out: fight out or buyout,” said Menon.

Over the last two years Patanjali and the waves it was creating was a big part of the Indian FMCG story giving legacy brands a run for their money. This year though the report found that Patanjali’s growth has slowed down in the recent past. Patanjali saw a massive uptake propelled by a wave of nationalism, interest in classical traditions, and finally Baba Ramdev’s brand image. “Patanjali has 60 per cent market penetration. We have not seen a similar fast growth in any other brand. The question is whether it will sustain this growth.”

E-commerce penetration

According to Kantar Worldwide panel estimates e-commerce sales in the FMCG and Grocery category is in the low single digits. “It is possibly about one per cent. Modern trade is around 7-8 per cent,” said Ramakrishnan. He wonders if eventually there will be a trade-off between modern trade and e-commerce.

Baby Panel
Completing one year of studying the Baby Panel, Kantar Worldpanel found that 13 per cent of all baby products shopping comes from e-commerce portals. It is mainly premium brands that are bought online by mothers. More number of product categories for baby grooming are being launched and embraced by new mothers. Young and working mothers are more open to a variety of product categories, the study found.

Some of the other trends that the report captured:

Golden Rules for Marketers

Local brands succeeding


Derive Growth On-the-Go!

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