Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: As Canadian men branch out to use a wider variety of products, there is room in the market for U.S. exports.
The Canadian market for men’s grooming products has grown considerably within the last few years. Men’s purchasing preferences are slowly moving from standard razor blades and foam cans of shaving cream toward more skin-friendly products such as pre-shave and after-shave, hand-made lathering soaps, essential oils for skin care, beard moisturizing balms and oils, and hair-styling products.
A study done in Toronto found that local barbershops and owners of men’s shaving product companies recently saw marked growth in demand for skin-friendly options—so much so that at times, these companies were working overtime to ensure that demand was being met. The research found that the targeted demographic expressing interest and actively purchasing specialty product lines is men between the ages of 25 and 35, and that although the tattooed hipster male may have been boosting the trend in the beginning, the artisanal men’s grooming market is becoming more mainstream due to growing interest in appearance and mass marketing campaigns specifically targeting this demographic.
According to Euromonitor, men’s grooming in Canada is expected to record a compounded annualized growth rate (CAGR) of $1 billion (at 2015 prices) by 2020, whereas men’s toiletries are expected to see a CAGR of 2 percent (at constant 2015 prices).
The number of small startups in this space in Canada is growing, but there is also room for imports. Currently, Canadian wholesalers seem quite receptive to importing soap options from the U.S. The province of Ontario offers the strongest market option, as it is currently importing a value of just over $19.6 million from Wisconsin, but other strong options include British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Overall, Canada imports a total of just over $501 million in soap options globally (a figure that does include more than just men’s lines). It is important to mention that the market does have some of the traditional big players that have been around for quite some time (such as manufacturers of razor blades and shaving foam). However, the rapid growth observed offers many new opportunities for high-quality, all-natural products that are well curated and marketed.