Beard Oil UK: 2016 Consumer Guide

beard-oil-uk-feature
  • June 12, 2016
  • Bobert Brush

Welcome!

Any body taking a casual glimpse at the UK beard oil industry could easily mistake it for the wild west.

In fact, the man on the Clapham omnibus might well refer to it as one giant bandwagon.

Hell, you can even buy beard oil in Boots now!

The UK is the global epicenter of the beard oil industry.

Even the United States comes second to the UK it terms of sheer demand for the little bottles of oily goodness.

We’ve seen an entire industry spring up in a very short amount of time.

It’s been a mere 2 years since the beard oil industry – as we know it – emerged in mid 2013.

I’ll make it simple for you:

If you are thinking about buying beard oil in the UK, read this consumer guide.

I will not bullshit you. Bobert Brush doesn’t do that.

These are the hard facts from the world’s #1 beard oil authority, that you won’t find anywhere else.

Beard Oil UK: 2016 Consumer Guide

Industry History

The below chart from Google Trends shows interest in beard oil within the UK since 2005.

What is fascinating about this graph – as compared to the equivalent data from Australia and Canada – is the shear enormity of the festive spikes.

The 2014 festive boom hit so hard, that it could not even be eclipsed the following year! Nevertheless, despite the huge 2014 spike, the upwards trend line during the non-festive months can still be clearly seen.

uk beard oil trend

Global Trends

The global trend of interest in ‘beard oil’ mirrors the UK led trend, although global interest continues to rise season-on-season and still displays an obvious upwards trend line into 2016 and beyond.

trends beard oil worldwide vs beard oils uk

Now, this diagram below represents proportional interest in beard oil globally.

The UK clearly dominates the globe and by a significant margin! The US economy is six times larger than the UK, yet such is blighty’s demand that it outpaces the yankies by nearly 20%!

global context uk beard oil

Methodology

I will be completely clear about the set of methods I have used to compile this report.

I have analysed all vendors that meet the following criteria:

  • Produce beard oil locally in the UK
  • Company headquarters based in UK
  • Have their own website
  • Sell their product online
  • Sell 1 or more products labelled as ‘beard oil’ (I have not included ‘beard balm’ or ‘beard wax’, etc.)
  • Post this product via direct mail within the UK
  • Is not Boots.

The large number of smaller artisans who don’t have their own websites and sell their hand made products on platforms such as Amazon or Etsy are not included in this report.

I will issue a separate report for this industry sector in the future.

This report 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.

Metrics

For each vendor I then produce the following metrics.

If a vendor offers more than a single variety of beard oil, I identify the most representative sample from that vendor’s available line.

Generally, beard oil vendors tend to provide their various products at the same price point. There would be little benefit to include multiple samples from each vendor in my analysis, as this would skew the data towards those vendors offering more products.

Largest Volume (ml)

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.

Price (GBP)

This is the price in Pounds (GBP) of the largest volume product sold, exclusive of Postage & Packaging

P&P (BGP)

This is the price in GBP of the Postage & Packaging, for shipment within the UK 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.

Total Price (GBP)

= Price + P&P

Price Per ml (GBP)

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.

Number of Carrier Oils

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 (carrier oil mixture) to which they may add various scents (essential oils) to make up different product lines.

Note: some beard oil vendors nefariously neglect to list their ingredients – either on their bottles or on their websites. In these cases, these metrics are omitted.

Number of Essential Oils

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 as an essential oil for this report.

Primary Base Oil

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.

UK Beard Oil – Results

Total number of beard oil vendors: 90

uk beard oil results

Wow!

What fascinating results. To a professional beard oil collector like myself, these figures leap off the page and headbutt me on the nose!

But let me explain to you – the interested layman and beard oil consumer – why these numbers are so fascinating.

There are 90 major beard oil vendors operating online as of the date of this report. As expected, this dwarfs any other country.

The average bottle size is 30ml, which has emerged as the de facto global standard. However, 50ml bottles are becoming much more prevalent, with 21 of the 90 vendors selling in this volume, compared to 51 of the 90 selling in 30ml.

This is a greater proportion than any other country I have yet analysed.

Average price is £18 and £23 inclusive of P&P.

However, what is really fascinating is the price per ml results.

The range is huge!

This means the most expensive beard oil in the UK is 14 times more expensive than the cheapest!

This is enormous! I compared this to Australia (5 times) and Canada (7 times). I even checked the outliers in my data to make sure they weren’t freakishly unrepresentative. But no, they were the natural continuation of the pricing bell curve.

To put this into real world terms, I looked at the two outliers – being the cheapest and most expensive beard oils in the UK:

  • 100ml product selling for a total $10.95
  • 8ml product selling for a total $12.25.

With such wild fluctuation in pricing, the UK consumer has to be wary! You must be aware that the market average price is £0.55 per ml. Anything over that needs to have a sound justification.

I then looked at next outliers that were of the same product size.

  • 30ml product selling for a total $4.89. 
  • 8ml product selling for a total $12.25.

Now admittedly, these may exciting products with more than the average number of essential oils – but does it justify a price point at well over double the market average?

That is a question only you the consumer can answer.

The average number of carrier oils across all 90 vendors was 4 and the average number of essential oils 3. This is in line with global trends.

The most popular primary base oil is Sweet Almond oil, with 13 of 90 vendors selecting to use this ingredient for the bulk of their product.

Beard Oils UK – Conclusions

So what conclusions should the average UK consumer draw from this report?

The key consumer guidelines are as follows:

  • There are 90 online beard oil vendors operating locally out of the UK.
  • The average price per ml is £0.55. Any product more expensive than this should have a reasonable justification. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, but be aware.
  • Consider ordering from overseas. Great deals are available all around the world, even taking into account P&P.
  • Whilst 30ml bottles have become the standard, bigger bottles are available and may provide better value (however check the price per ml).
  • Check the ingredients and make sure you are getting a decent number of different oils in the bottle, compared to what you are paying. Don’t pay for the brand, pay for what’s in the bottle.

The UK Beard Oil industry is thriving.

There are hundreds if not thousands of creative and unique products to choose from.

Just be aware of my consumer guidelines and you should have a trouble free and exciting experience purchasing UK beard oils – whether you are a local, or a customer from overseas who fancies sampling a specimen from the global hub of beard oil culture.

If you fancy sampling a specimen I’ve awarded a Maroon or Golden Thumbs Up to, head on over to my collection and filter the Origin column to UK.

Until next time.

Yours
Bobert Brush

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