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Artificial Flowers & Plants(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 03,2006)

Natural Selection

Michael (Asia) Co Ltd is a specialist in polyester stem spray artificial flowers, among which dahlias and casablanca lillies are always popular
While artificial flowers are a permanent feature in most homes, Hong Kong manufacturers continue to introduce new flora with advanced coatings and colours to better replicate nature.

A prime example is artificial polyester stem spray flower specialist Michael (Asia) Co Ltd, which produces 30-40 TEUs of artificial flowers per month at its 800-1,000-worker, 25,000-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland.

This ISO 9001-certified, 17-year-old company, which also produces artificial foliage, plants and fruits, sprays its stem flowers with micropeach and satin coatings to achieve a realistic look, says spokeswoman Joanna Cheng. "Among our spray flowers, the rose, hydrangea and peony are particularly popular," she notes.

Michael (Asia) produces flowers for each season, with peony, ranunculus, willow flower and cherry blossom popular in spring and Nicole rose, wisteria, calla lilly and gladiolus in demand for summer.

Autumn choices are hydrangea and flannel flower, while eucalyptus, poinsettia, casablanca and berry are best sellers in winter. "We are now extending our range of artificial flora to include potted plants, such as our new palm tree," Cheng adds.

Product prices are available on request for minimum order quantities of five cartons per colour, delivered 75-90 days after order confirmation to major markets such as Europe, the US and Asia.

Prolific artificial flowers, plants and seasonal decorations company Tokyo Industrial Mfg Co Ltd offers more than 10,000 designs. The range includes silk and polyester artificial flowers and plants, seasonal centrepieces, single stems, bouquets, flower heads and fashion accessories such as pins, brooches and hair clips.

Production takes place at the company's 200-500-worker, 100,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the mainland, which sources polyester, LDPE, and azo-free dye from Taiwan, Japan and Germany and parts for accessories on the mainland.

"Our most popular product line is potted pre-arranged flowers," explains marketing manager Lawrence Wong. "The rose is still the biggest-selling individual flower, but customers are now looking for two or three colour tones on one flower head to create a very natural look."

Wong says that artificial flowers maintain their popularity because they are easy-care, allergy-free and highly affordable. "Our biggest market is the US, which takes more than 50% of exports, followed by Japan and Europe," he says. "Eastern Europe is a new area for us."

Wong adds that OEM orders make up 60% of the company's exports and are a growing part of its business.

Tokyo Industrial's product prices range from US$0.05-15.00 per piece for a large pre-arranged multiple flower decoration with attractive pot, for minimum order values of US$2,500 delivered 45 days after order confirmation.

Another veteran producer is 33-year-old manufacturer Chun Hing Art Plant Co Ltd, which offers 4,000-5,000 different items of artificial flowers and plants.

Its product-reach includes a full range of foliage, greenery bushes, artificial trees, stem flowers and arrangements, as well as a line of polyresin plant pots. "We provide a one-stop shop for our customers, with 80% of our business coming from OEM orders," claims marketing manager Francis Ngan.

The company produces 40 TEUs of artificial plants per month at its 2,000-worker, 20,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. It also has an extensive facility in Hong Kong that showcases as many as 3,000 different samples.

"Our most popular product lines are single-stem flowers, potted flower arrangements and bushes," Ngan explains. "Flowers most in demand are orchids, poppies, roses, ranunculuses and hydrangeas."

Chun Hing has its own designers and mould-makers on the mainland to ensure that products look as close to the real thing as possible.

"Europe is our biggest market, absorbing more than 50% of production," Ngan adds. "But we export worldwide, including newer areas such as Eastern Europe."

Product prices for single stems range from US$0.25-8.00 per piece, with the latter being for a fancy flower such as an orchid with high quality materials and finishing.

Artificial trees cost US$20-60 per unit; the upper price being for a fancy tree with flowers and a PU trunk. "The ficus is the most popular artificial tree," says Ngan, "and we supply models ranging in size from 5-8 feet."

Chun Hing sources fabrics from Taiwan, plastic from Japan, dyestuff from Germany and metal wire from the mainland to manufacture minimum order quantities of one TEU for delivery 60 days after order confirmation.

Six-year-old Danfield Industrial Ltd prefers to concentrate on artificial trees, which it produces at its 100-worker, 3,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the mainland.

"We have some 100 different styles in natural trunk trees with bark," explains manager Christopher Chan, adding that the most popular tree is the six-foot ficus. "We offer numerous trunk styles, such as the octopus and the French, but the straight trunk is the most popular."

Chan says Danfield sources fabric from Taiwan and wood from the mainland, and that product prices depend on size. "A six-foot ficus tree with pot costs approximately US$6 each FOB Hong Kong for a minimum order of one FEU delivered 60 days after order confirmation," he says. "Europe is our main market, taking 50% of output, with the US and Japan other important destinations."

Showing that, worldwide, buyers keep returning to Hong Kong for artificial flowers and plants that come as close as possible to the real thing.



Chun Fung Artificial Flower Mfy Ltd
18/F, Blk C, Waylee Ind Centre
30-38 Tsuen King Circuit
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2493-5153
Fax: 852-2493-5216
Web: www.chunfung.com.hk

Chun Hing Art Plant Co Ltd
Units 32-52, 12/F, Profit Ind Bldg
1-15 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2426-2677
Fax: 852-2480-4661
Web: www.chunhing.com.hk

Danfield Industrial Ltd
Rms 207A-B, David House
8-20 Nanking St
Jordan, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2388-6227
Fax: 852-2385-0879
Web: www.danfieldchina.com

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
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2487-6102
Fax: 852-2487-5130
Web: www.luentaiflower.com.hk

Michael (Asia) Co Ltd

Rm 5A, 19/F, Well Fung Ind Centre
68 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2481-7626
Fax: 852-2481-7671
Web: www.michael-asia.com

Tokyo Industrial Mfg Co Ltd
11/F, Blk F-1, Phase 1
Hang Fung Ind Bldg
2G Hok Yuen St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2333-4165
Fax: 852-2764-6409
Web: www.artificialflower.biz

Union Industrial (FE) Ltd
Units 5-6, 4/F, Blk A
Po Yip Ind Bldg
62-70 Texaco Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2416-9218
Fax: 852-8343-7302
Web: www.union-industrial.com.hk