1 Nov 2003
Cookware Sets(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 02,2003)
Vol. 2, 2003
Elegance In The Kitchen
With its own industrial design and development team, Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares Ltd is a specialist in cookware such as these tri-ply copper and stainless steel pots and pans.
Cookery has become a fashionable leisure pursuit. Encouraged by the many television programmes which breed culinary stars, it is no longer considered a female chore but also a trendy hobby for both sexes. However, few television cooks mention that half the skill in cooking depends on using the right utensils. Fortunately, Hong Kong manufacturers of cookware score with the latest designs and high quality materials.
Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares Ltd joined the Abdoolally Ebrahim Group (established in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1842) in 1961. The company engages in product development and OEM business for major brands and manufacturers in Europe, Japan and the US supplying cookware in the mid- to high-quality market segment.
Strongly positioned for future growth, more than 100 partner factories supply the company's stainless steel products. "We are totally people-oriented, and our relationships with our partners are our greatest assets. Our business with many of these factories has existed for two generations," says company director Taha J Ebrahim.
"OEM accounts for 70% of production, while innovation and new developments are also critical to the success of our company," he adds.
"Our principal cookware sets are made of imported stainless steel and copper, and our strong quality control department strictly enforces clients' agreed specifications at every stage of production," he says.
The company is also a major supplier to the housewares and tabletop sectors of the retail market and the food services industry. In the last few years it has also become an ODM supplier, with its own industrial design and development team. "ODM now represents 10% of the output."
Another household name is Axa Int'l Ltd. "Elegant and functional designs are the hallmarks of our products, which are also distinguished by graceful lines and a high polish," says sales manager Iny Ho.
Ho says that European designers in Axa's Belgian factory do most of the design work, adding: "We believe that using beautiful utensils adds to the enjoyment of cooking."
Founded in 1991, Axa makes stainless steel, aluminium and copper cookware and kettles. The monthly production runs to 800,000 pieces and the minimum order is 300 pieces (with other items) in one TEU or FEU. Delivery takes place 55 days after order confirmation.
A typical price for a stainless steel cooking set is US$30.85 FOB Yantian for a set comprising a covered saucepan, a stockpot, casserole and open frying pan.
Axa supplies well known brands such as BEKA, Barbantia and some OEM products. Major markets are the US, the UK, Japan and Europe.
"Our stainless steel is imported from Japan, while we source the tri-ply stainless steel from Korea and the copper and aluminium on the Chinese mainland," says Ho.
Axa, which has offices in Los Angeles and Belgium, operates plants covering more than 100,000 square metres and employing more than 1,600 skilled workers. The company is the first Dupont licensee in Guangdong Province on the mainland for non-stick coatings on stainless steel cookware.
Also cooking up a storm is the Linkfair Group Ltd. Founded in 1993, Linkfair produces housewares, cookware, kitchen tools and fingerprint locks. Products are made from 18/10 stainless steel that is imported from Japan and Germany.
"We use very modern designs with top regard for ease and efficiency in use and high quality. All our products are strongly made of the finest materials," says vice general manager Rachel Au.
A minimum order is one FEU for delivery 45 days after confirmation of order. Major markets are Germany, Spain, France, Italy, England, the US, Japan and Mexico.
Linkfair's main offices and factories are in Xinxing County in Guangdong Province. The total floor area of the factories is 270,000 square metres and there is a 1,900-workforce. The company is ISO 9001- and ISO 9002-certified.
Looking to make life easier for cooks is Peter Yuen, sales manager of Wing Sang Lung (HK) Ltd. "The diversity of our products, strongly made of top grade materials, is the chief attraction. We make cookware that will last for many years, and each item is especially designed for every cooking situation to make the cook's task as easy as possible," he declares.
This company, founded in 1965, now boasts an annual turnover of more than US$8m. Major lines are cookware, bar sets, cutlery and kitchen tools - all very modern in appearance, highly polished and with attractive handles. "In the main, we use stainless steel from Japan, Korea and Europe," Yuen adds.
Wing Sang Lung's main office is in Hong Kong while the factory is in Guangdong Province. The factory covers two floors and employs 300 people.
Cookware products include traditional Chinese woks as well as western-style frying pans, saucepans and kettles, egg poachers and vacuum flasks. The minimum order size is negotiable, and delivery is 30 days after order confirmation. The major export markets are Europe, the US, Australia and Japan.
Prices for stainless steel cookware sets range from US$22 for a nine-piece set to US$32 for a 21-piece set - both prices FOB Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
Abdoolally Ebrahim Housewares Ltd
20 Stanley St
GSW (HK) Ltd
Asia Orient Tower, Town Place
33 Lockhart Rd
Wing Sang Lung (HK) Ltd
Unit 1510, Tower 2
Grand Century Place
193 Prince Edward Rd West
Mong Kok, Kowloon
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