1 April 2003
Aromatic Gift Sets(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 02,2003)
The Scent Of Success
|Flashing Trading Ltd's pot-pourris attractively wrapped in organza sachets are sweet enough to scent any room|
People are becoming ever more aware of how smell can unlock long forgotten memories and produce a variety of sensations. Fragrance can also create a soothing and healthy environment. In response, Hong Kong produces a wide variety of aromatic gift items for international markets.
Hot on the scent is Flashing Trading Ltd, offering more than 200 items to choose from, including dried flowers, potpourri and a variety of aromatherapy products.
"We use herbal oils such as flax seed, lavender and spearmint sourced from the Chinese mainland, France, India and Pakistan," explains company secretary Tracy Leung. "Currently, our best selling items are an oil burner, a sachet and a multifunction mist lamp."
The 18-inch lamp is interesting in that it uses water scented with aromatic oils to create a fragrant mist of negative ions. Besides its therapeutic benefits, Leung says it also serves as an "excellent skin moisturiser". A smaller, six-inch version of the lamp is planned.
"We do everything in-house, from design and manufacture to exporting the finished product, and we offer reasonable prices," she says.
The minimum order value is US$5,000 and FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$13.50 for the lamp to US$0.35 for an organza bag of potpourri. Delivery is 15-30 days after confirmation.
Products are marketed under the Dreamworld, Greensources and Fragrant Angel brands, while customers can also specify their own labels.
Another supplier with a nose for business is Right Unity Ltd, which has produced aromatic products since its inception in 1994. The company's line includes bath and beauty items, potpourri sachets, incense and herbal pillows.
Marketing manager Cherie Tsang explains the emphasis on using natural and environmentally responsible ingredients. "We use actual herbs and plants such as eucalyptus, rose petals and lavender to scent many of our products, while our soap base is Malaysian palm oil," she says.
Right Unity's herbal aromatherapy line is marketed under the Bath Plus+ brand. "Currently the herbal line is most popular. However, we may make a transition to fruit and Asian spices as the herbal line ages. And, regardless of whether we are using herbs or fruit, we will continue to find scents that actually have some aromatherapy benefits," says Tsang.
The company insists on maintaining high quality standards and has been able to fulfil the requirements of a number of famous global brands. "One of our value-added services is our ability to create a custom fragrance or synthesise a fragrance given to us by a client," says Tsang.
Right Unity runs a 40,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the mainland. FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.05 for soap to US$3.00 for a bath gift set. The minimum order value is US$5,000, and delivery takes place 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Another company offering custom fragrance designs is Mensonic Crafts Mfg Co. The product line consists of more than 150 items including candleholders, candles and garden sticks.
"Our candles are produced from palm oil instead of paraffin as is the case with most candles," explains manager John Chow. "Although this oil costs more, customers say people are willing to pay as the products are healthier and more environmentally friendly."
Regarding future plans, Chow says the company will "add more scented products to our product range, including adding a line of aromatherapy oils and burners."
Mensonic's current customer base consists mainly of specialty and mail-order stores, supplied from a factory located in Xinxu in Guangdong Province on the mainland that has a capacity of 500,000 pieces per month. FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.52 for a pewter tin candle to US$1.18 for a glass silver-plated scented candle. The minimum order value is US$3,800, and delivery is 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Specialising in candle manufacturing since its start in 1989, Richking Asia Ltd, whose main production comes from a factory in Dongguang on the mainland, is one of the few candle companies still maintaining a factory in Hong Kong.
"Currently the US has a 54% anti-dumping tariff on candles from the mainland whereas products from Hong Kong are exempt," says manager Freedi Lee. He says a plan to set up a subsidiary company in the US is being considered to capitalise on this advantage.
Richking's product line of more than 1,000 items includes basic candles, scented candles and candles in a variety of glass and metal containers. "Currently votive candles are our biggest sellers, with jelly wax also being quite popular," explains Lee.
Competition for companies on the mainland has been great, but Lee says his customers come back for the quality. "Customers like our jelly wax candles because they do not turn too easily into a liquid form. Additionally, we offer high quality, a quick delivery time and no restrictions on the order size. We can also custom design scents for customers."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.35 for the round scented tin candles to US$0.40 (per set) for the floral and fruit scented candle sets. Delivery time is approximately 30 days after confirmation.
WRITTEN BY KAM HO
Flashing Trading Ltd
Unit 14, 2/F, Blk B
Wah Sang Ind Bldg
14-18 Wong Chuk Yeung St
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