Male Consumers Invade Traditional Women's Markets

Cho In-sung, a model for Laneige Homme, a line of cosmetics for men. Cho In-sung, a model for Laneige Homme, a line of cosmetics for men.

Male consumers are a rapidly growing force in traditionally female-dominated areas such as the childcare, beauty market and beverage markets. The term "M-ness" has been coined to signify the men who break from the conventional image of men and adopt feminine values such as childcare or cooperation.

◆ Growing Markets

Beverages or cosmetics for men are pouring into the market. The most male-dominated field is the market for premium canned coffee, where 60 percent of consumers are men. Maeil Dairy Industry has launched premium canned coffee Quatra by Caffe Latte, emphasizing that it is targeting men. A Maeil Dairy staffer said, "We believe that markets for men will become bigger and bigger, so we are gradually expanding product lines for men." In response, Lotte Chilsung Beverage has launched the Cantata canned coffee for men.

Things are similar in the cosmetics industry. According to Amore Pacific, sales of cosmetics for men are approximately W500 billion (US$1=W923) or 7 percent of total sales. Amore Pacific expects sales to grow more than 10 percent by the end of the year.

Magazines for men take up an increasing share. GQ and Esquire are the leading examples. LUEL, a magazine for men in their 30s or older was launched this year, following Men's Health and Arena. Free weekly magazine M25 was launched last June, targeting salaried men from 25 to 34.

◆ Invading Female-Dominated Fields

Agabang Prosumer Cafe, a website opened by Agabang & Company, a distributor of infant products, is seeing the number of male members grow. As of 2007, male members took up 9.3 percent of the total. The website of Namyang Dairy Products has half a million male members, out of 1.7 million. The rate of men purchasing baby formula online is 25 percent this year, suggesting a growth from 10 percent concerned about childcare seven years ago. A Namyang Dairy staffer said, "The number of men who play an active part in childcare instead of leaving children to their wives is growing sharply."

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 08, 2007 11:27 KST