A couple of years ago the only ‘grooming’ products available for men was razors, shaving foam and musky cologne. Fast forward to now, and men have a wide array of artisanal products available.
Today men have a wide array of artisanal products available such as beard oil with exotic ingredients like rosemary leaf extract and shaving soap that contains avocado oil.
These fancier grooming products are now gaining popularity among men of all ages and can be found online or at certain upscale barbershops. These products are usually natural, organic and have fewer ingredients than their mainstream versions making them more desirable.
The exciting thing about these products is that the demand for them existed even before these products arrived on the scene. However, earlier, customers who wanted to buy these products had to import them from Japan, England and Germany. But now we have independent companies right here in Canada who make these unique grooming products.
“There is definitely a strong demand on the vendor side to create these products and then on the consumer side to seek them out and support them as well.” Nicholas Burton-Vulovic, marketing manager for the online retailer Fendrihan, based in Ancaster, Ontario recently said. The website specializes in men’s shaving products from around the world and now showcases many Canadian creams, soaps, oil and lotions.
Handcrafted products and beard maintenance items became much more readily available thanks to the new crop of Canadian entrepreneurs in this sector.
“We saw a void in the marketplace, there was nothing of quality or cutting edge and current in the marketplace in Canada,” said Jason Ritchie, co-founder of Prairie Boys Supply Co. His company offers hair-styling products and other products including beard and shave oils, beard balms, razors, combs and even clothing.
Prairie Boys Supply Co has around $40,000 in sales from direct sales on their online store, through retail outlets and more through a distribution agreement. About 70 per cent of these sales are domestic, 20 per cent are from American customers, and the rest are from customers in countries like Japan and Australia.
Another popular company in the same niche is Midnight & Two which focuses on shaving products like pre-shave oil and after-shave balm. Their first wholesale customer was a specialty shave shop Kent of Inglewood, which has branches in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. Midnight & Two too grew because the demand just kept increasing from the retailers as customers were ready to buy these new products.
Experts in this niche say that many grooming products now available are consumer goods like soaps and balms rather than hardware goods like razors. This made it easier for many entrepreneurs to enter this niche.
While some may think that these types of new grooming products are directed towards the youth of today only, the truth is far from that. They are not just on-trend items that are just a fad but rather personal grooming products that men will use for a long time once they start. While the most popular demographic to sell the products to is the 25 to 35-year-olds, there are other customers too who are baby boomers or retirees.
These items could also be the new gift idea for men as many women look to buy these specialty products as gifts for the difficult-to-buy-for men in their life. If more people start thinking of these as a gift for a dad, brother, boyfriend, then the industry is set to boom.