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Cream Of The Crop

Silver-Plated Tableware

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Ocean King Enterprises Co Ltd offers a huge range of silver-plated tableware such as these highly decorative servers that are ideal for formal occasions

Trendy silver-plated tableware from local firms shines in global markets, testifying to Hong Kong's sterling success as a quality supplier

Nothing beats the luxurious appeal of silver-plated items in the tableware market, which ensures their popularity even in tough times. Helping to retain the shine of this long-standing sector, Hong Kong suppliers are continuing to roll out new styles that meet changing demands.

A sterling example is Ocean King Enterprises Co Ltd, which introduces some 20 new styles of silver-plated tableware each year and offers a total of more than 200 designs in this category.

The firm's range includes candleholders, tea sets, serving trays, napkin rings, shakers, relish dishes, jam sets, bowls, bakers and warmers.

"Currently, our most popular products are trays, candleholders and warmers," says Marketing Manager Mango Lam. "Also among our new products is a highly decorative matching range of serving dishes and napkin rings."

Most of the firm's business is its own designs, while about 20% is OEM. "The average price of our products is US$13-15 per piece FOB Hong Kong," advises Mr Lam, adding that Ocean King hopes to maintain buyer interest in 2009 by launching more new items.

"Europe is our biggest market, and other important outlets include Turkey, Singapore and Malaysia," he says, noting that the trend in Europe is for simple, plain designs while buyers in the US and Asia generally favour fancier, more decorative items.

Offering a wide array of products is also a key strategy at Petek Co Ltd, a gifts, tableware and houseware manufacturer that supplies more than 2,000 items in silver-, gold- or pewter-plating.

Silver-plated tableware comprises more than 50% of the company's output, which consists of 80% own-designs and 20% OEM items.

"Tabletop-serving pieces such as cake and salad servers, candelabras and warmers are some of our most popular items," says Managing Director Peter Kwok. "Our best-selling products are three- and five-light candelabras that we offer in 200-300 styles and two ranges - modern contemporary and antique."

Apt adaptations

Petek will concentrate on more basic, plain models for 2009 in response to changes in global markets. "We are adjusting to the current economic climate by offering low- to medium-range products with designs that can be sold year-round rather than for special occasions such as Christmas," Mr Kwok advises.

With its silver-plated collection unit-priced from US$1-20 FOB China, the supplier sells mostly to North America, which accounts for approximately 50% of business. Europe is its other major market.

"Our customers are long-term clients such as importers and famous brands," Mr Kwok imparts.

He believes that silver-plated ware will continue to prove popular with buyers worldwide. "There is always a demand for silver-plated items as they make very attractive tableware and classy gifts and have been popular in the market for a long time," he remarks.

This view is shared by Trempest Ltd, another major industry player. "The silver-plated tableware business is very stable," insists Operations Manager Thomas Lam. "These items always have value in the market as they offer a more elegant look."

The company's product portfolio comprises more than 1,000 silver-plated tableware items. "We offer a full range, from small items to chafing dishes and food warmers, as over the years we have built up a lot of tooling expertise," explains Mr Lam. "Currently, our most popular silver-plated items are serving pieces, napkin rings and champagne flutes."

The flutes are among the manufacturer's latest creations. They come with silver-plated stems and bases, and are usually sold in pairs. "We offer more than 30 champagne flute designs," Mr Lam says.

Some 70% of Trempest's business is its own designs, with the remainder OEM. The enterprise exports worldwide, with Europe and the US its leading markets, followed by the Middle East.

Optimistic outlook

"I believe there will continue to be strong demand for our silver-plated tabletop items as they combine decoration with functionality thanks to elegant designs and quality workmanship," says Mr Lam.

Dainty silver-plated tabletop products are also available from Woo Fung Metal Mfy.

"Cake knives and cake servers are our customers' most popular choices in the silver-plated tableware category, while champagne glasses and napkin rings are also in demand," says Marketing Assistant Jonathan Ng. "Fancy, ornate designs are popular."

Many of the company's items are used as gifts, and as such they can be ordered together with gift box packaging. "The UK is our biggest market for tableware, followed by the US," says Mr Ng, adding that the firm's tableware sells for US$3-7 per piece FOB Hong Kong or China.

Offering a touch of class and elegance at such affordable prices, silver-plated tableware from Hong Kong is likely to continue to dazzle with a polished performance for years to come.

TEXT BY SANDRA JENNER

FAST FACTS

Fortune Union Enterprises Ltd
Flat 1119
Leader Ind Centre
57-59 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2947-7386
Fax: 852-2947-7296
Email:
fortuneu@netvigator.com
Web: www.fortuneunion.com
www.hktdc.com/em/fortuneunion
Year Established: 1998
Major Product Categories: candleholders, jewellery boxes, photo frames and albums, hanging ornaments, stationery, key rings
Own Brands & Certificates: ISO 9001
Minimum Order: 3,000 pieces
Monthly Production: 500,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 45 days
Factory Size & Location: 22,000 square metres
Workforce: 600
   

Kai Hing Metal Products Fty Co Ltd
9/F, Blks O & P
Wai Cheong Ind Centre
5 Shek Pai Tau Rd
Tuen Mun, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2465-8068
Fax: 852-2455-0108
Email:
kaihing@kaihing.com.hk
Web: www.kaihing.com.hk
www.hktdc.com/em/kaihing

Year Established: 1987
Major Product Categories: household products, metal trays
Own Brands & Certificates: Edelglanz
Minimum Order: container basis
Monthly Production: 30 containers
Delivery Time: 60 days
Factory Size & Location: 200,000 square feet; Dongguan
Workforce: 800

   

Ocean King Enterprises Co Ltd
Rms 706-7
East Ocean Centre
98 Granville Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2602-5545
Fax: 852-2609-1708
Email:
mango@oceankinggroup.com
Web: www.oceankinggroup.com
www.hktdc.com/em/oceankingent

Year Established: 1980
Major Product Categories: silver-plated tableware
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 500-3,000 sets
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: 40-60 days
Factory Size & Location: -
Workforce: -
Verification: D&B
   
Petek Co Ltd
Units 1907-8, Tower A
Regent Centre
63 Wo Yi Hop Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-8209-8326
Fax: 852-8209-8366
Email:
info@petek.com.hk
Web: www.petek.com.hk
www.hktdc.com/em/petekco
Year Established: 1999
Major Product Categories: gifts, tableware, houseware
Own Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 1,000 units
Monthly Production: 50,000 units
Delivery Time: 45-60 days
Factory Size & Location: Dongguan
Workforce: -
Workforce: 100
Verification: D&B
   
Trempest Ltd
Suite 810, Tower 3, Phase 1
Enterprise Square
9 Sheung Yuet Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2756-7988
Fax: 852-2750-1332
Email:
sales@trempest.com.hk
Web: www.trempest.com.hk
www.hktdc.com/em/trempest
Year Established: 1976
Major Product Categories: stainless steel and silver-plated tabletop items, hip flasks, barware items, bathroom items, jewellery boxes, gift and premium items
Own Brands & Certificates: Queen Victoria, Regal Steel
Minimum Order: 1,500-3,000 pieces
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: 45-60 days
Factory Size & Location: 60,000 square feet; Nanhai
Workforce: -
   

Woo Fung Metal Mfy
Units C-E, 4/F
Koon Wo Ind Bldg
63-75 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2426-1838
Fax: 852-2418-1125
Email:
info@woofungmetal.com
Web: www.woofungmetal.com
www.hktdc.com/em/woofung

Year Established: 1972
Major Product Categories: silver-plated metal giftware
Own Brands & Certificates: ISO 9001
Minimum Order: 300 pieces per set
Monthly Production: 300,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 50 days
Factory Size & Location: Dongguan
Workforce: 300