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UK Marketing to Men market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Marketing to Men - UK market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Changes in the age profile of the UK male population, as well as shifts in living and working patterns among men, are creating challenges and opportunities for marketers. The greying of the male population means it is essential for brands to ensure older men are included and appropriately portrayed in marketing campaigns.


Whether they are conscious of it or not, most men have not made healthy living a priority. For one reason or another many are failing to be consistent when it comes to their diet and fitness, with the result being that some 27% of males aged 15 and over can be categorised as obese. However, men’s strong interest in sports suggests there are opportunities for brands to partner with sports teams and athletes to create high-profile campaigns promoting healthy lifestyles.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by George Zaborowski, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Marketers are often tempted to use aspirational themes in advertising to grab attention and create excitement about brands, however, because this approach can often be so out of sync with men’s actual lives, its impact may not always be very long lasting. A more nuanced approach, which considers how men truly see themselves and the world, has a better chance of being relevant, and thus more effective and memorable George Zaborowski
Senior Financial Services Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

        • The market
          • The male population is greying
            • Figure 1: Trends in the age structure of the UK male population, 2014-24
          • More and more younger men are living on their own
            • Financial confidence among over-65 males high going into the New Year
              • Most men in the UK are overweight
                • The consumer
                  • Sports the number one interest
                    • Figure 2: Men’s top hobbies and interests, October 2019
                  • Men likely to turn to online resources for health advice
                    • Figure 3: Where men would look for different types of health advice, October 2019
                  • Men most want to be seen by others as trustworthy and friendly
                    • Figure 4: Characteristics men hope to be associated with by others, October 2019
                  • Musical art forms the most attractive for men
                    • Figure 5: Men’s engagement with traditional “high-art” forms, Correspondence Analysis, October 2019
                  • Men want to be included in the gender equality discussion
                    • Figure 6: Men’s attitudes towards gender and gender equality, October 2019
                  • A sizeable minority of men would boycott a brand using gender stereotypes
                    • Figure 7: Men’s attitudes towards gender stereotypes and gender politics in advertising, October 2019
                  • Most men are eager to test out new brands
                    • Figure 8: Categories men indicate an interest in experimenting with unfamiliar brands, October 2019
                  • Pricing and trust possible barriers for food and drink start-ups
                    • Figure 9: Attitudes towards supporting start-up food and drink brands, October 2019
                  • Advertising central to the discovery of new products
                    • Figure 10: Sources of information for new food, drink and beauty and grooming products, October 2019
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Men’s love of sports can be used to inspire them to live healthier lives
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Men and the feminist voice in society and advertising
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Over-55s the fastest-growing segment of the male population
                                  • Living alone increasingly common among younger men
                                    • The average age of first-time dads hits another new high
                                      • Two in five working aged men are self-employed
                                        • Half of all over-65 males described their finances as ‘healthy’
                                          • Men of healthy weight in the minority
                                            • ASA now enforcing new rules banning harmful gender stereotyping
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Demographic factors
                                                • The greying of the UK male population
                                                  • Figure 11: Trends in the age structure of the UK male population, 2014-24
                                                • More men are living on their own
                                                  • Figure 12: Proportions of one-person households, by age and gender, UK, 2019
                                                • Average age of first-time dads continues to rise
                                                  • Figure 13: Standardised mean age of mother and father by year, England and Wales, 2009-18
                                                • Economic factors
                                                  • Male employment currently at healthy levels
                                                    • Figure 14: Employment and unemployment for UK men aged 16 years and older, August-October 2009-August-October 2019
                                                  • 19% of working age men are self-employed
                                                    • Over a third of men describe their financial situation as healthy
                                                      • Figure 15: Financial situation amongst men, by age, December 2019
                                                    • Financial confidence is highest among older men
                                                      • Men’s health
                                                        • Majority of UK men are overweight
                                                          • Figure 16: Proportion of men aged 16+ who are overweight or obese, by region, 2019
                                                        • Regulation
                                                          • ASA begins to enforce a controversial ban on gender stereotypes
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Sport the most common interest amongst men
                                                              • Over-55s prove the keenest of travellers
                                                                • Tech plays a key role in health in advice for men
                                                                  • Most men want to be regarded as trustworthy and friendly
                                                                    • Musical art forms are the most appealing for men
                                                                      • Men want to be included in the gender equality conversation
                                                                        • Most men are keen to try out new brands
                                                                          • The right mix of new and old food and drink brands key for retailers
                                                                            • Support for new brands is strong, but pricing and trust possible barriers
                                                                              • Advertising vital in the discovery of new products
                                                                                • Social media an important resource for under-35s
                                                                                • Men’s Hobbies and Interests

                                                                                  • Sports prove most common area of interest...
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Men’s top hobbies and interests, October 2019
                                                                                  • …while health/exercise falls some way down the list
                                                                                    • Sports as an avenue to normalising healthy living habits
                                                                                      • The more relatable the campaign the better
                                                                                        • Targeting the travel interests of the over-55s
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Proportion of men who include “travel” as amongst their main hobbies/interests, by age, October 2019
                                                                                      • Sources of Health Advice

                                                                                        • Health websites a key resource across all categories
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Where men would look for different types of health advice, October 2019
                                                                                        • Use of health apps and social media strongly skewed towards under-35s
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Proportion who would consider using social media or health apps for health advice, by age, October 2019
                                                                                        • Men commonly use multiple resources
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Repertoire analysis on where men would look for different types of health advice, October 2019
                                                                                        • Standing out from the crowd via social media
                                                                                        • How Men Want to Be Perceived by Others

                                                                                          • Men overwhelmingly want to be seen as trustworthy and friendly…
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Characteristics men hope to be associated with by others, October 2019
                                                                                          • …with this at odds with how men are usually portrayed in advertising
                                                                                            • Over-the-top aspirational ads could start to face regulatory scrutiny
                                                                                              • Younger men are still more likely to be swayed by fashion-focused self-expression
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Selected characteristics men hope to be associated with by others, by age, October 2019
                                                                                              • Tapping into the over-55s’ love of family
                                                                                              • Engagement with Different Art Forms

                                                                                                • Musical art forms hold the most appeal to men…
                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Men’s engagement with traditional “high-art” forms, Correspondence Analysis, October 2019
                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Men’s engagement with traditional “high-art” forms, October 2019
                                                                                                • …while other forms of art are less widely relatable
                                                                                                  • The new “Renaissance man”
                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Proportion of men who consider selected art forms to be “Engaging”, by age, October 2019
                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Gender

                                                                                                  • For many men, gender equality is about improvements for both genders
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Men’s attitudes towards gender and gender equality, October 2019
                                                                                                  • Changes in society resulting in the need for a more balanced approach
                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Gender in Advertising

                                                                                                    • Half of men think advertising has become too focused on gender politics
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Men’s attitudes towards gender stereotypes and gender politics in advertising, October 2019
                                                                                                    • Most men believe they are just as likely to be stereotyped as women
                                                                                                      • Men want ads that depict diversity in an authentic way
                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Men’s attitudes towards diversity in advertising, October 2019
                                                                                                    • Experimenting with New Brands

                                                                                                      • Men are unafraid to try out new brands
                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Categories men indicate an interest in experimenting with unfamiliar brands, October 2019
                                                                                                      • Tapping into men’s interest in food and drink
                                                                                                        • Financial risks put off experimentation in tech category
                                                                                                          • Men under 35 the most willing to try out new brands
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Categories men indicate an interest in experimenting with unfamiliar brands, by age, October 2019
                                                                                                          • Appealing to older men still possible if the message is on point
                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Food and Drink Start-ups

                                                                                                            • Men are excited by new brands and welcome the added variety…
                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Attitudes towards supporting start-up food and drink brands, October 2019
                                                                                                            • …but overabundance nearly always leads to confusion
                                                                                                              • Support for new brands is strong, but cost and trust are potential issues
                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Attitudes towards supporting start-up food and drink brands, October 2019
                                                                                                              • New brands need to prove their worth to overcome any scepticism
                                                                                                                • Smaller brands are in a better position to stress authenticity
                                                                                                                • Sources of Information for New Products

                                                                                                                  • Advertising key for men when discovering new products
                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Sources of information for new food, drink and beauty and grooming products, October 2019
                                                                                                                  • Friends and family influential in spreading word about new foods
                                                                                                                    • Social media an important resource for men under 35
                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Social media as an information source for new products, by category and age, October 2019
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                          • Methodology

                                                                                                                          About the report

                                                                                                                          This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                          • The Consumer

                                                                                                                            What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                          • The Competitors

                                                                                                                            Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                          • The Market

                                                                                                                            Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                          • The Innovations

                                                                                                                            New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                          • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                            Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                          • The Trends

                                                                                                                            What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                          Description