The average Asian spends less than 4 hours a week on personal grooming

  • 46 percent want to look good in order to feel good about themselves
  • Consumers from China spend the least time on personal grooming

gfkSingapore, January 26, 2016 – A recent 22-country study has found that consumers from China, South Korea and Japan spend the least time on personal grooming.  Over three in five (63%) consumers across five Asia Pacific countries put in between one to four hours weekly on personal grooming, with 60 percent from this group saying the time they spend is less than an hour a week.

GfK findings from the 22 markets revealed that, internationally, women spend an average of almost five hours a week on personal grooming (bathing, shaving, dressing, hair, make-up), while men spend just over three hours. Asia Pacific consumers tend to spend less time than this, with women in this region putting in an average of 4.5 hours weekly.

On a country level, people in China spend the least time on personal grooming. Here, men spend just 2.2 hours weekly—the lowest in the world. Meanwhile, Chinese and Korean women spend only 3.8 hours a week on personal grooming—also the lowest for women amongst all the countries surveyed.

What are the major reasons that motivate people to try to look their best?

The most popular motivation, cited by 60 percent of the total 27,000 people surveyed as a major reason for trying to look their best, is to feel good about themselves. This was followed by making a good impression on people they meet for the first time (44 percent) and setting a good example for their children (40 percent).

“Consumers in today’s modern societies are spending a significant amount of time, money and effort on grooming products services, which is confirmed by the thriving beauty and grooming industry which not only caters to the women, but also to the men these days,” observed Michael Mueller, APAC COO for GfK.

The top two motivations for Asia Pacific’s consumers are the same as the international findings (46 and 40 percent), but the third most popular reason for wanting to look their best is to feel in control—as indicated by over a third (34%) of respondents in this region. This is an especially strong motivator in Korea, where both genders— almost half (49 percent) of all female respondents and 40 percent of males agreed with that this is a major reason, making it the second most important factor for consumers in this country.

Findings for China also differ slightly from the international trend. Here, the most important reason for consumers wanting to look good is to make a good impression on people whom they meet for the first time (55 percent). This is then followed by wanting to feel good about themselves (53 percent) and setting good example for children (46 percent). Also ranking high on the list as a major reason for wanting to look good is because they feel it is important for their career, as well as to express their individuality (40 and 36 percent respectively) – higher than their other Asian counterparts.


Differences across age groups

Across the full 22 surveyed markets, all age groups agree that feeling good about themselves is the leading major motivation for trying to their best. Unsurprisingly, for those aged under 30, making a good impression on people they meet for the first time, and making a good impression on people of the opposite sex or those they find attractive rank second and third as the major reasons for looking their best. For those aged 30 and above, setting a good example for their children is consistent across all age groups as the second most commonly cited motivation. And when it comes to those aged 50 and over, pleasing their spouse or partner makes an appearance as their thrid most popular major reason.

“The market of helping people look good is definitely thriving and many manufacturers and service providers are not targeting only a specific gender or age group, but are customizing their products and services to each of the groups,” noted Mueller. “Findings from the survey confirms that looking and feeling good is important for many aspects of our life, and there will always be many consumers out there who are willing to pay to look good—it is up to the product manufacturer and service provider to accurately identify and target their soft spot with the winning marketing strategy to be successful,” he concluded.

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Online data were collected using a staggered field start that completed in June 2015 and weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.

1The survey question asked: “Here are the reasons some people have given for trying to look their best. For each one, please indicate if it is a major reason why you try to look your best: To feel good about myself / Because it is important for my career / Because it is expected of me / To be admired and respected by other people / To please my spouse or partner / To make a good impression on people whom I meet for the first time / To express my individuality / To set a good example for my children / To make a good impression on people of the opposite sex or those that I find attractive / Because it makes me feel in control

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.