Millennial men can boost the US fragrance market

February 14, 2017
3 min read

American men aged 18-34 represent by far the main fragrance user group, over-indexing in regular use across all fragrance types. These consumers have a particular penchant for perfume and eau de toilette, but use of aftershave shows much less of a bias towards Millennial men. Aftershave has suffered from the greater prevalence of facial hair now that more than half of American 18-34s have a beard or stubble.

Recent stagnation in the male fragrances sector reflects weak demand for aftershave as well as movement towards ancillary fragranced products and less traditional scent formats. Once again, Millennials are at the forefront of this trend, comprising the core market for body sprays and also underpinning demand for the wider range of fragranced ancillary products, from lotions to shower gels.

Smelling good is top-of-mind for younger generation

59% of male 18-34 year-olds use personal care products in order to smell good.

While American males aged 35+ list basic grooming and hygiene as the main reason overall to use personal care products, for younger males smelling good is now the leading consideration. Almost three in five male 18-34 year-olds use personal care products in order to smell good.

Ancillary product advantages

A third of Millennial males believe fragranced ancillary products smell just as good as perfume. Many believe ancillaries have lighter fragrances, offer greater convenience in the form of ease-of-use benefits, and skincare benefits such as cleansing or moisturizing usually found in fragranced shower lines and body lotions. Few fragrances promote these kinds of benefits, although there has been a surge in launches of more convenient travel format fragrances for men in the US during the first 10 months of 2016.

What we think

Scent’s status as the primary motivator for Millennials suggests better brand leverage can be achieved with fragrance extensions in the personal care space. Fragranced ancillary lines should continue to gain traction with this demographic in the latter part of the decade.

Brands can take the lead from travel formats and develop take-anywhere fragrances with better spray technology or alternative means of delivery, such as roll-ons. These would allow for more dispersed, lighter fragrances and might be adapted to incorporate moisturizing or hydrating properties that are still very niche in the fragrance sector.

Michelle Strutton is Global Research Manager for Household, Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel. She has over 30 years experience analysing consumer behaviour and market research at Mintel. Michelle also provides direction for Mintel’s global analysis and consumer research programme.

Michelle Strutton
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