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A Cut Above The Rest (HKTDC Houseware, Vol 02,2002)

Vol. 2, 2002


A Cut Above The Rest
Kitchen Tools & Gadgets

Pure Pleasure
Bathroom Accessories

Cleverly Coordinated
Home Textiles



A Cut Above The Rest

Kitchen Tools & Gadgets

Ko Fung Products Industrial Ltd proves that kitchenware can be both practical and decorative with this five-piece zinc alloy gadget set.

WHEN it comes to tools and gadgets for the kitchen, Hong Kong manufacturers do not just rest on the fundamentals. Whether veteran or new to the gadget business, all strive to add value to their product line-up.

Founded in 1983, Ko Fung Products Industrial Ltd offers a profusion of midrange to high-end gadgets, which end up on the shelves of many overseas department stores.

"Corkscrews, can-openers and ice-cream scoops are among our best-selling items and are snapped up by many well-known kitchenware brands because of their quality," says sales representative Dennis Tse. "Our major markets are the US and Europe which take more than 70% of our production, while the rest is sold to Southeast Asia and the Middle East."

Importing stainless steel from Japan, plastic from Thailand, Santoprene from the US and zinc alloy from Australia, Ko Fung manufactures at a 300,000-square-foot, 1,300-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. Capacity is one million pieces each month.

Besides working on OEM orders, the company also designs an in-house collection. A patented five-piece zinc alloy set, which sells for US$9 FOB Hong Kong, includes a can-opener, corkscrew/bottle-opener, garlic press, nutcracker and potato peeler. Minimum order is 720 sets, for shipment 30-45 days after order confirmation.

Established in 1982 as a trading firm offering plastic and electroplated kitchen tools to the Middle East, Philip Lo & Co Ltd started specializing in stainless steel items after setting up its own factory in Guangdong on the Chinese mainland in 1997.

"Utilizing stainless steel from Japan, South Korea and the mainland, our 5,000-square-metre, 300-worker factory manufactures sizable kitchenware used in the catering business as well as household gadgets," says sales manager Emily Lee.

Since Philip Lo started focusing on better-quality and higher-value stainless steel products, Europe and the US have become the company's major markets, accounting for 80% of sales, while Asia and the United Arab Emirates take the rest.

"We sell to importers as well as to retailers, including specialty stores and department stores. We've also registered our own label 'Homelover' for buyers who prefer branded merchandise with full packaging," explains Lee.

On top of OEM orders, the company also offers open items. Philip Lo's debut collection "Butterfly" includes a stainless steel corkscrew priced at US$0.87 per piece FOB Hong Kong, a garlic press at US$2.34, a can-opener at US$2.95 and cake server at US$0.96.

A minimum order of 1,200 pieces per item or an order value of US$10,000 per shipment is required. Delivery takes 60-75 days after order confirmation.

Though a newcomer to the gadget business, three-year-old Homeasy Enterprise Ltd is already exporting 80% of its products to Europe, and the rest to the US, Australia, Asia and South Africa. The company has also launched its own brand, Meisterstick, upon a German buyer's request two years ago.

"Using high-quality stainless steel from Japan and alloy steel from Europe, we target high-end buyers from department stores and mail-order companies. Many European factories also buy from us because of our fine quality and reasonable prices," says merchandising manager Albert Au.

A set of hollow-handled stainless steel cutlery includes an eight-inch forged cook's knife (priced at US$6.73 each FOB Hong Kong) and a paring knife (US$2.95).

According to Au, in-house designs are becoming a popular option for buyers as they are looking for unique merchandise. Buying open items also enables them to save on product development cost. Today 60% of Homeasy's business is OEM while the rest is taken up by in-house designs.

Supported by its 32,000-square-metre, 700-worker factory in Shanghai on the Chinese mainland, Homeasy manufactures 1.8 million gadgets each month. It requires a minimum order of 1,000 pieces for cutlery and 1,000 sets for flatware. Delivery is 60 days after order confirmation.

Incorporated in 1973, Hah's (Bros) Metal Mfy Ltd has expanded from manufacturing eggbeaters to offering a full array of gadgets and plastic utensils to the European (70%) and US (30%) markets.

"With the expansion of our product range, we've also moved our production base to a 170,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, which employs 1,200 workers and manufactures two million gadgets each month," says general manager Vinky Ha. "We use stainless steel imported from Japan and South Korea, and plastic from Taiwan."

With many customers staying loyal over the past 20 years, Ha attributes the company's success to good quality, reasonable prices and trustworthy relations built up over the years. The company sells its midrange products through local trading houses as well as directly to overseas importers and retailers.

Pizza cutter 232/108U14 sells for US$0.96 each FOB Hong Kong; cake server 552/108U14 for US$1.19; egg whisk 61425/108U14 for US$0.98; and soup ladle 511A/108U14 for US$1.45.

"Besides playing an active role in product development for OEM orders, we also design open items in track with what the market needs, which can be further refined upon a buyer's request," says Ha.

The company requires a minimum order of 2,400 pieces per item and ships 45 days after order confirmation.


Contact Details:

Camford Housewares Mfg Ltd
1/F, Lin Fung Centre
184-186 Texaco Rd, Tsuen Wan
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2407-2226
Fax: 852-2406-8058
E-mail: terryklc@camford-hk.com

Hah's (Bros) Metal Mfy Ltd
5/F, Flat G
Leapont Ind Bldg
18-28 Wo Liu Hang Rd, Fotan
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2604-5433
Fax: 852-2695-1053
E-mail: utensils@hahsbros.com

Homeasy Enterprise Ltd
11/F, Unit O, Phase 3
Kaiser Estate
9-11A Hok Yuen St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2148-4781
Fax: 852-2148-4784
E-mail: service@homeasyent.com

Ko Fung Products Industrial Ltd
Rm 2405
HK Worsted Mills Ind Bldg
31-39 Wo Tong Tsui St, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2428-6008
Fax: 852-2425-1036
E-mail: kofung@kofung.com.hk

Masterful Ltd
Unit 2112, Kodak House II
39 Healthy St East
North Point, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2561-6786
Fax: 852-2563-9786
E-mail: mail@masterful.com.hk

Philip Lo & Co Ltd
12/F, Rm 1203, Tower 2
Harbour Centre
8 Hok Cheung St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2333-0322
Fax: 852-2764-8903
E-mail: homelover@philiplo.com

Wan Kou Metal & Plastic Fty
14/F, Blocks C & D
Yick Shiu Ind Bldg
1 San On St, Tuen Mun
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2461-8276
Fax: 852-2455-1025
E-mail: sales@wankou.com.hk

Pure Pleasure

Bathroom Accessories

A versatile showerhead with a swinging arm comes from Fairform Mfg Co Ltd.

WHO doesn't enjoy the pure pleasure of a soothing bath or invigorating shower in a well-appointed bathroom? A refreshing range of bathroom accessories can add that extra special touch. An ergonomic bristle brush, shell-motif bathroom set or handheld massager, for example, can transform an everyday experience into a sensual indulgence.

A "customer first" philosophy drives Fairform Mfg Co Ltd, which has been manufacturing bathroom accessories, personal and beauty care items since 1976. It maintains a five-strong R&D department at its 250,000-square-foot, 800-worker plant in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.

One recent Fairform success is a range of ABS shower massagers, which have proved popular with clients in North America, Asia and Europe. "Customers in places like Germany appreciate the good price, quality and features of our shower massagers," says sales manager Ethel Chu. "US customers, on the other hand, prefer wall-mounted massagers to the handheld version that is popular elsewhere."

Fairform offers three handheld shower massagers under the Qesco brand name, with a wide variety of options such as regular, economy, pulsating and aeration spray, as well as a dripping function designed to save water.

The company requires a minimum order of 3,000 shower massagers, which sell for US$1-8 FOB Hong Kong, depending on the combination of features. Delivery takes 45-60 days.

"Sales have been very good so far but we are keen to develop new markets and are therefore looking to areas such as Brazil, which we believe hold great potential," Chu says.

Traditional consumers will find comfort in the high-polish, satin-finish bathroom sets from Hunter Group Ltd, which has been manufacturing quality household products since 1978. Designed in-house and produced at a 1,000-worker factory in Guangdong on the Chinese mainland, Hunter Group's bathroom accessories include soap holders, cotton swab holders, toothbrush holders and tumblers.

Manufactured from high quality iron, zinc alloy and stainless steel, the products are durable, says marketing officer Gordon Tse. "We have always produced quality household products and now have around 2,000 items in our product catalogue. It's a Hunter Group policy to use the best quality raw materials because we don't want to sell lower-end items."

However, Tse says that Hunter Group prices and minimum quantities are "highly competitive" and depend largely on the individual item. The basic quantity is one FEU, usually delivered 45 days after receipt of an L/C.

"The US and Europe are our main markets as they appreciate quality products at reasonable prices. However we plan to develop our brand name in future because we want to continue to grow and expand into exciting new markets like India."

Health-conscious consumers will appreciate the ingenious ergonomic bristle brush designed and manufactured by Wessen Industries Ltd. Marketed under the Back to Nature or Wessen Milano brands for consumers or trade customers, the brushes have the same basic features but come in a variety of sizes to suit individual requirements.

The popular 37cm Back to Nature ergonomic bath brush with irregular tip thermal bristles (model 242597) features an ergonomic handle with a rounded curve that allows the user to handle it more comfortably. Individually packed in a printed box, each brush sells for US$1.20 FOB Hong Kong based upon a minimum order of 3,000 units.

"Other styles feature classic handles in two sizes and shampoo brushes that gently clean the scalp without risk of abrasion, just as the fingers do during shampooing," explains marketing executive Christy Wong.

All Wessen products also boast gentle elastic bristles that effectively remove dead skin using either irregular-tipped thermal bristles to scrub the skin or rounded tips specially designed for massaging.

Assembled in a 500-worker, 9,800-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, the Back to Nature line is made from South Korean and Taiwanese ABS, and maple and beech wood from the US, Canada and the mainland. Delivery takes 60 days. Production reaches 500,000 brushes per month. The products find their way to the US, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Tung Po Plastic Toys Fty has come up with eye-catching shell-motif bathroom products that are popular with consumers of all ages. "It's natural to decorate a bathroom with shells, particularly after a relaxing holiday," says director Calvin Chow, "so I designed our seashell range as a natural extension of that beach holiday feeling."

Tung Po's stylish range includes a polyresin toilet seat, soap dispenser, soap dish, toothbrush holder and cotton bud holder, all embedded with seashells to make every day a holiday. This collection has already proven a winner for the 13-year-old company, which manufactures toys and bathroom accessories.

FOB Hong Kong prices for the seashell collection range from US$0.66 to US$3.20, based upon a minimum quantity of one TEU of assorted products. Delivery generally takes 45 days.

"We've had a very good response from customers in our major markets such as the US, Japan, the UK, France and Germany. Young people especially enjoy this type of light-hearted approach to bathroom accessories," says Chow.

A workforce of 1,000 produces some "three to four container loads" of these accessories every month at a 10,000-square-metre factory in Hua Dong on the Chinese mainland.


Contact Details

Fairform Mfg Co Ltd
23/F, Units 1-3
New Trend Centre
704 Prince Edward Rd East
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2354-6666
Fax: 852-2354-6668
E-mail: sales@fairform.com.hk

Hunter Group Ltd
12/F, Enterprise Square Two
3 Sheung Yuet Rd, Kowloon Bay
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2866-8899
Fax: 852-2886-5566
E-mail: hunter@hunter.com.hk

Kam Lee Metal And Plastic Fty Ltd
9-12/F, Wah Tai Ind Bldg
11 Sun On St, Tuen Mun
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2461-6329
Fax: 852-2456-2520
E-mail: kamlee@hkabc.net

Kinchiff Investment Ltd
2/F, Unit B
Mai Sik Ind Bldg
1-11 Kwai Ting Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2429-4491
Fax: 852-2420-4762
E-mail: kinchiff@kinchiff.biz.com.hk

Tung Po Plastic Toys Fty
Rm 6D, Leapont Ind Bldg
18-28 Wu Liu Hang Rd, Fotan
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2606-0536
Fax: 852-2601-1987
E-mail: tungpo@tungpo.com.hk

Wessen Industries Ltd
7/F, Unit 15, Blk A
Tonic Ind Centre
26 Kai Cheung Rd, Kowloon Bay
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2754-0383
Fax: 852-2759-6681
E-mail: asia@wessen.com

Cleverly Coordinated

Home Textiles

Potter Industries Ltd's 100% cotton, animal-theme mittens will add a touch of whimsy to any kitchen while protecting hands from heat and cold.

CREATING a beautiful and comfortable home environment is at the top of most consumers' list of priorities. Attractive and coordinated home textiles are an inexpensive way to add the finishing touch. Bed linen, bathroom and kitchen accessories from Hong Kong manufacturers use fine cottons and synthetic fabrics and come in a variety of colours, designs and price points.

Eastrade Industrial Ltd manufactures an extensive range of household accessories from its 200,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.

"We produce many different items for the midrange market," says managing director Wilfred Lam. "These include placemats, tablemats, shower curtains and bathroom accessories from Taiwan-made PU, PP and PEVA, as well as kitchen items such as mats, aprons, oven gloves and tablecloths made from textiles sourced on the Chinese mainland."

"The US accounts for 50% of our exports, Europe takes 30% and we have increasingly good sales in South America and Canada," says Lam. "Minimum order is 2,400 pieces and delivery is 35-45 days for customers' own designs. We also have running designs for which we carry stock that are very popular."

In this highly competitive market, Eastrade's annual turnover of HK$120m reflects 13 years of hard work in building the business. "We produce a large choice of coordinated items and our merchandisers and designers watch trends carefully, so we keep ahead of the competition and are able to meet the concepts and quality demanded by our customers worldwide," explains Lam.

With 10 years in the market, Acclaim Development & Industrial Co Ltd has built up a strong customer base in Europe and the Americas for its textile products. "Coordinated kitchen accessories are our strength," says general sales manager Stella Ho. "We produce about 60,000 pieces per month at our factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland."

Raw materials are sourced from the mainland and Taiwan. Ho says that Acclaim's product development team constantly offers new design ideas to extend the range of coordinated items.

"We have in-house designers and also welcome customers' suggestions," says Ho, who describes Acclaim's approach as being very flexible and pro-active. "We pay the same attention to small and large orders. Maintaining quality is central to our approach. We work hard with customers to find the quality that meets their budgets. Also, we offer lots of different options to create a choice. We follow up sales to monitor how our products are performing so we can improve services."

Atlantic Int'l Corp Ltd produces home textiles for the Japanese and Hong Kong markets. The main products are placemats, tablecloths, cushion covers, throws and quilts in fashionable colours and coordinated designs.

"Cotton, polyester and acrylic fabrics are sourced from reliable suppliers on the Chinese mainland and some European manufacturers. We also buy tablecloths and some fabric from India," says sales manager Cecilia Wong. "We have our own designers, so we're happy to do ODM. We monitor quality closely.

"Delivery takes 30-60 days, depending on the items required," says Wong. "We have no fixed minimum order and production takes place at our factories in Beijing and Shanghai. We have well-established relationships with companies on the Chinese mainland and that means we are in a strong position to develop the mainland market for our products."

After careful research and planning, Casablanca Int'l Ltd was founded in 1993 to fill what its directors saw as a gap in the Hong Kong and Japan markets for good-quality mid-price bedding. "We felt there was little choice for the increasingly sophisticated customers between high-quality, very high-priced items and basic low-quality bedding," says business development manager Chris Lee.

Casablanca's business plan is working well - it has already captured a 30% share of the Hong Kong market. "Under our brands Casablanca and Casa Calvin, we produce stylish and affordable sheets, duvet covers, fitted sheets, pillowcases, quilts, comforters, mattress pads and cushions," says Lee.

The company employs 200 workers at its 40,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland and aims to deliver within 45 days of order confirmation. It also carries stock of many popular items, which can cut delivery time further.


Contact Details

Acclaim Development & Industries Co Ltd
Unit 1422, Golden Ind Bldg
16-26 Kwai Tak St, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2775-3991
Fax: 852-2439-0800
E-mail: acclaim@acclaim.com.hk

Atlantic Int'l Corp Ltd
Rm 1202, Yat Chau Int'l Plaza
118 Connaught Rd West
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2547-8818
Fax: 852-2857-1179
E-mail: cecilia@aichk.com

Casablanca Int'l Ltd
2/F, New Treasure Centre
10 Ng Fong St, San Po Kong
Kowloon, Hong kong
Tel: 852-2306-1699
Fax: 852-2351-1933
E-mail: chris@casblanca.com.hk

Eastrade Industrial Ltd
19/F, Flat B
Roxy Ind Centre
58-66 Tai Lin Pai Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2481-1226
Fax: 852-2481-2116
E-mail: east18@netvigator.com

Potter Industries Ltd
8/F, Unit A
Tungtex Bldg
203 Wai Yip St, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2759-9282
Fax: 852-2798-5361
E-mail: potter@powernethk.com

Sunwell Int'l Development Ltd
1/F, Rm B9
Hong Kong Ind Centre
489-491 Castle Peak Rd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2786-0161
Fax: 852-2785-5564
E-mail: merchant@sunwell.com.hk

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