Want Not, Sweat Not—Deodorants Faring Well


CHICAGO—Spring has ushered in; and with it comes the sweet smell of success, according to Mintel, as deodorants and antiperspirants continue to fare well with a 16-percent growth between 2006 and 2011.

“Antiperspirant/deodorant use among teens is at 92 percent, placing them on par with adults," said Amy Ziegler, global personal care analyst at Mintel. “However, teens and adults have different requirements for their deodorants, so it’s important that manufacturers market to each segment appropriately. Marketers should consider distributing samples at teen-oriented clothing stores and using social networking sites to build interest in their brands."

Teens like scented products. According to Mintel, 93 percent of teens use scented products versus only 78 percent of adults. Meanwhile, 77 percent of teens say they like a solid/stick and 76 percent prefer clear/invisible deodorants. 

However, do note that loyalty isn't king in this personal care sector; half of Mintel respondents reported experimenting with other brands in the previous 12 months, but fewer than one in five actually switched brands completely. Age is the main driver shaping consumer willingness to experiment. Younger users were significantly more likely to make the switch than their older counterparts, which reinforces that the young consumer group should be the core focus for marketers.

Some 40 percent of women say they pick out or purchase their significant other’s antiperspirant/deodorant versus only 18 percent of men who do the same for their partners. Therefore, even when marketing products to men, the response of female consumers to packaging, scent and branding should be taken into account.

Natural and organic? Not that pervasive. This movement hasn’t quite made the same impact in the world of underarm care. Mintel’s research confirms only one in 10 people usually use antiperspirant/deodorant with all-natural ingredients and fewer than one in 20 buy all-organic products.

“However, 14 percent of women and 16 percent of men report having skin that is easily irritated by antiperspirant/deodorant, which could help drive the all-natural, organic and hypoallergenic formulations in the future," Ziegler concluded.