Santiago Ramírez, the eminent Mexican psychologist, identified an “excess of macho” attitude in Mexico.
But, as Estée Lauder’s Marc Latiere points out, today’s younger generation is more metrosexual than machista. The change in attitude is helping to fuel the growth of prestige grooming products, which has grown 20 to 25 percent annually over the last five years, according to Latiere. Top brands include Biotherm, Clinique Skin Supplies for Men, Aramis Lab Series and Clarins Men. While these products only account for 6 percent of overall beauty sales (with a retail value of $5.8 million), growth is outpacing other categories. Men’s lines from Lancôme and Shiseido launched recently, and even the mass market business is growing. Nivea research found that 65 percent of related purchases are made by men, reversing the tradition of women buying for their partners.
BDF Mexico’s Diego Ferrández described Mexico as a Latin American “forerunner” in the men’s market, while acknowledging that “there is still a lot to be done in terms of penetration.” The whole market—including mainstream products such as shaving gel and deodorant—had retail sales of $614 million in 2007, constituting a 46.3 percent rise since 2002, according to Euromonitor.
As Clarins’ Jean-Marie Le Roy says, “The [Mexican] men’s market has a bright future ahead.”