This is the fourth in my series of global Consumer Guides for various beard oil industries around the world.
The one thing you can be sure of: Bobert Brush will not bullshit you.
When looking through the various companies offering beard oil for sale in South Africa, I was struck by the sense of a mining town springing up around a newly discovered gold vein.
Some of the shops are ramshackle, some of the patrons are unsavory, but by goodness business is booming!
As of 2016, South Africa’s industry remains relatively small and still in its early stages of growth.
If you want to buy beard oil in South Africa, you must read on for the cold, hard facts.
The below chart from Google Trends shows interest in ‘beard oil’ from within South Africa since 2005.
It appears that South Africa has been on quite a unique and unusual beard oil journey.
We can see that the upwards trend line does not really start to emerge until 2015 – whereas globally the beard oil trend began in 2014. Thus we can see that the South African beard oil industry was a comparatively late bloomer to it’s international peers.
The South Africans also have such an intense thirst for beard oil, that their interest has not peaked over the Christmas periods – as it has in all other nations.
The trend just keeps going up and is currently at an all time high!
Lastly, there appear to be ominous pre-emptive spikes of interest in South African beard oil as early as 2006 and consistently throughout the Global Financial Crisis. What these spikes represent is a mystery, as the global beard trend was nowhere near emerging at those times.
For comparison purposes, below is the global trend of interest in ‘beard oil’. We have a clear upwards trend line and some obvious festive spikes.
Now, the picture below shows us the proportional interest in beard oil globally.
Given the size of the South African economy in comparison to the other global hubs of beard oil interest, South Africans have an intense demand for beard oil – coming in 4th place globally!
I have analysed all vendors that meet the following criteria:
The large number of smaller artisans who don’t have their own websites and sell their hand made products on platforms such as Etsy or Amazon are not included in this guide. A separate report for this industry sector will be issued in the future.
This guide is focused on the major independent beard oil vendors. You should be aware from my research and analysis on Australian beard oil, that the Amazon / Etsy industry sector does not deviant significantly from its big brother.
Likewise, websites that simply re-sell other companies products are not considered as beard oil vendors in this report.
For each vendor I then produce these metrics.
Note: if a vendor offers more than a single variety of beard oil, I identify the most representative sample from that vendor’s range. In general I have noticed that beard oil vendors tend to provide their various products at the same price point.
This is the largest size of beard oil product sold by the vendor, in milliliters (ml). If the vendor only sells in one size, that size is listed here. If the vendors sells in multiple sizes, this lists the greatest size.
This is the price in South African Rand (ZAR) of the largest volume product sold, exclusive of Postage & Packaging
This is the price in ZAR of the Postage & Packaging, for shipment within South Africa only.
If the vendor offers multiple postage options, the standard option is selected.
Pricing for international shipment (if offered) is not included in this metric.
= Price + P&P
This is the Total Price / Largest Volume.
Or in other words, it’s the price per ml inclusive of postage and packaging. Postage and packaging prices are arbitrary in a sense, given the profit margins on beard oil are so high.
This is the most telling metric and gives you the relative picture of the value of the oil compared to the market median.
This metric states the number of carrier oils contained in the product.
Again, if a vendor offers multiple products, the most representative sample is chosen. In the majority of cases, beard oil vendors have a common base mixture (made up of carrier oils) to which they may add various scents (essential oils) to make up different product lines.
Note: some beard oil vendors clumsily neglect to list their ingredients – either on their bottles or on their websites. In these cases, these metrics are omitted.
Likewise, this is the number of essential oils in the recipe.
It is common for vendors to have to have a “thin range” for the number of essential oils they include in their recipes. I.e., a vendor will have one product with 3 essentials oils and another with 4. It is not common to find a vendor that sells one product with 4 essential oils and one with 10 essential oils. So, once again, when multiple products exist, the most representative sample is taken.
Note: Vitamin E is considered an essential oil for this report.
This metric reflects the carrier oil that is contained in the highest proportion in the recipe.
I identify this from the oil that is listed first on the ingredients list on the manufacturers website or bottle.
Total number of beard oil vendors: 19
The results are in!
As with every other country around the globe, the de facto standard of 30ml bottles has emerged.
In fact – out of 19 vendors – only two offered beard oil in any other size! A sign of the fledgling industry that will no doubt change as competition increases.
The price range is disparate, as is to be expected with beard oil. I observed prices as far apart as R80 – R420, with the average being 170.
The most telling metrics however is the price per ml. This is your key indicator as a consumer!
The average price of South African beard oil is R6 per ml.
Now, if you find beard oil that is priced higher than this, simply be aware and look for a justification for the higher than average price. Are thereperhaps more than 3 carrier oils and 3 essential oils in the recipe?
Interestingly, the average number of carrier oils and essential oils is 3 each. This is a little lower than other countries, where the median tends closer to 4. Having said this, around half of the 19 major vendors do not clearly list their ingredients on their websites, so it is difficult to say whether they may have included more than 3 oils!
South Africa’s most popular primary base oil is equally split between Almond, Argan and Jojoba.
So what conclusions should the average South African consumer draw from this report?
The key consumer guidelines are as follows:
The South African Beard Oil industry is a great place to be! Early in its development, the astute consumer who is aware of pricing mechanics can still find a great buy!
As with every country, there are many talented and passionate artisans working their craft and creating unique, fascinating and high quality products!
If you fancy sampling a specimen I’ve awarded a Clear or Golden Thumbs Up to, just head on over to my collection of the best beard oils in the world and sort the table by country of Origin.
Until next time.