1 March 2003
Artifical Flowers & Plants(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 03,2003)
& Catering Supplies
Artifical Flowers & Plants
The latest collection of artificial flowers and plants from Sheric Trading Co Ltd features roses with twigs and petals, daisies and forget-me-nots
Demand for artificial flowers and shrubs continues to be high partly because live flowers simply do not last long enough, especially where they are most needed. Happily, Hong Kong has a splendid variety of artificial alternatives designed to enhance the most testing of environs.
One such leading provider is 25-year-old Sheric Trading Co Ltd. "Our flowers are mainly made from polyester fabric or polyethylene and we offer either single flower stems or full floral arrangements depending on what the customer wants," says director Thomas Tam.
"Some clients say it is easier to sell finished products in nice arrangements such as basket bouquets or plants in terracotta pots. These can contain a wide variety of flower types," he adds.
He says it is important for the plants to look as lifelike as possible. "Customers want natural-looking flowers, not like before when we could design our own. Today it is very important to get all the details right."
The typical price for roses with twigs in a square terracotta pot is US$0.63, while daisies cost US$0.72 and forget-me-nots US$0.72. Rose hips, with twigs and petals, cost US$0.63. All prices are FOB Hong Kong, with the floral arrangements in similar terracotta containers. Alternatively, the price for a dozen dried-look roses in a terracotta pot is US$5.36.
Major markets include the UK, Germany, France and Greece. Production takes place at a 400-worker plant located in Nanhai, Guangdong Province, on the Chinese mainland and the minimum order value is US$5,000. Standard delivery terms are 60 days from order confirmation.
In the artificial flowers business since 1984, Luen Tai Plastic Fty Ltd uses polyester and other plastic materials sourced in Taiwan. Production takes place at a 3,500-worker plant in Huiyang in Guangdong Province on the mainland.
"We mostly use polyester to create real, fresh-looking artificial flowers such as single stems, floral arrangements or outdoor plants. The most popular items are bouquets, while roses are a perennial favourite. For outdoors, our artificial bushes have to be very lifelike to satisfy our discerning buyers," says administrative executive Emily Lam.
Luen Tai also makes the plastic pots to house its flowers and shrubs, while there is also good demand for artificial green bushes without flowers. "These are used for borders or to create a green decorative effect," says Lam.
Major markets include the Middle East, Egypt, the US and Europe, and the standard delivery time is 30 days from order confirmation.
Having started out in the artificial flowers business in 1988, Gold Future Industrial Ltd is now a leading player. "We produce a considerable range of artificial flowers and plants mostly using polyester, taffeta, pongee, satin, and PVC," says managing director Peter Yip.
"Although we sell our products throughout the world, the US is our major market and we deal with department stores, craft shops and importers," he adds.
Production takes place at plants located in Shenzhen and Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, where the company employs 300 people. Standard delivery terms are 60-90 days from confirmation of order.
Tokyo Industrial Mfg Co Ltd commenced business in 1968, and sales manager Lawrence Wong says Hong Kong's artificial flower-making industry has changed since the "old days" and has gone up-market.
"The most obvious change in the industry is in the materials used and the quality demanded by the market. Hong Kong manufacturers have now shifted the emphasis to producing high-end products," he observes.
"Today we make quality flower baskets and flowers in pots. For example, we have irises in a glass vase, complete with acrylic water, and a dry-look rose in a galvanised iron pot. We also have poppies and other flowers in rattan baskets. All of these are new products available at prices ranging from US$1.90-5.00 a piece, FOB Hong Kong," he adds.
Weighted floral arrangements help give a realistic feel. "When the customer holds the pot it feels more substantial, which is a major selling point. Another important factor is to ensure natural-looking flowers," says Wong.
Wong says enhanced production techniques mean it is no longer necessary to keep stock. "Even though buyers require shorter delivery times, with even last-minute orders not uncommon, we can usually manage as short a period as three weeks," he says.
Whereas OEM business was the rule, today ODM is more usual. "Often a customer will give us a rough idea of what he wants and we will complete the design," says Wong.
Exporting worldwide, Tokyo Industrial has a 500-worker factory located on the mainland. Raw materials include polyester and plastic sourced mainly from Taiwan, and standard delivery terms are 30-40 days after order confirmation.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Gold Future Industrial Ltd
Unit C, 3/F
Tsuen Wan Int'l Centre
58-70 Wang Lung St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories,
Grand Ocean (HK) Ltd
Flat B, 13/F
Regal Dragon Commercial Bldg
149-151 Woosung St
Luen Tai Plastic Fty Ltd
14/F, Blk G, Phase 2
Kwai Shing Ind Bldg
42-46 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories,
MGB Industrial Co Ltd
Tung Ying Bldg
100 Nathan Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Sheric Trading Co Ltd
Hong Kong Plaza
186-191 Connaught Rd West
Tokyo Industrial Mfg Co Ltd
11/F, Blk F-1, Phase 1
Hang Fung Ind Bldg
2G Hok Yuen St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Wincas Int'l Ltd
Units 19-20, 2/F
Kai Fuk Ind Centre
1 Wang Tung St
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
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