Efforts to encourage girls into what has typically been designated as the boys’ market have been well documented in recent months.
In the toy industry, gender neutrality has been a focal point of female empowerment, encouraging girls into areas such as STEM learning, while movements such as Pink Stinks have grown in order to dispel gender-specific marketing.
Yet until now, little has been documented about other side of that coin and the impact of gender neutrality for the other 50 per cent of the kids’ market.
Speaking with Licensing.biz, health and beauty specialist H&A has now revealed a growth in sales and demand from a male audience for gender neutral products in a sector stereotypically led by girls.
“We are experiencing a refreshing receptiveness among parents to purchase product formats which have been considered more feminine in the past,” Holly Humphreys, licensing manager at H&A tells Licensing.biz.
“Our Spider-Man hairbrush, part of our Spider-Man bathing range, is a great example of this. It’s received a huge amount of positive feedback from consumers, despite a product of this kind rarely being marketed to boys.”
The firm launched the Spider-Man gifting range earlier this year, coinciding with the release of the blockbuster Spider-Man movie. The range, a line that includes the Web Head Hair Set and Spidey Bath Bubbles – has already rolled out across Asda, Boots, Wilko and Sainsbury’s.
The popularity is indicative of a shift in trends among children as more and more, the boys’ and girls’ markets grow closer together. The shift is as equally apparent in the upcoming NASA product line launch, scheduled for later this year.
“We are delighted to be launching a range of NASA products to accompany the growing trend for Space at the moment,” continued Humphreys. “This brand not only appeals to the boys’ market but it is also expected to be a he hit among girls.
“We monitor consumer trends closely to inspire our new product development. Kids’ imaginations can be sparked by all sorts of things, and sometimes we will come across a brand we have never seen before and we just know will grab attention – whether because of a cute or cool character, amazing use of colour or any number of factors.”