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FOOD FUN(HKTDC Houseware,1997)


Nov 1997





HK Enterprise Internet

FOOD FUN
- Kitchen Textiles


SWEET DREAMS
- Bedding


STYLISHING SOLUTIONS
- CD Racks/Cabinets


FURNISHING COMFORT
- Living Room Furniture


QUALITY FITTINGS
- Bathroom Fixtures


FOOD FUN
Kitchen Textiles

Potter Ind Ltd offers a kitchen textile set with a printed fruit design.

KITCHEN textiles -- from oven gloves and aprons to tea towels and place-mats -- come in many shapes, colours and guises. Although these items are functional and practical, Hong Kong manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make bright, cheerful products that are attractive and fun to use.

The most common material for many of these products is cotton, but PVC has become increasingly popular, favoured for its durability and easy-to-clean qualities. It is especially preferred for items such as aprons, tablecloths and place-mats, because they need only a quick wipe to keep them clean and are therefore practical for the everyday mishaps in the kitchen.

As well as being produced as stand-alone items, kitchen textiles come in sets. A common set includes oven gloves, an apron and tea cloth, with a matching design or theme.

Yearise Ltd uses the Christmas theme for a selection of items, producing a series in both cotton and PVC. Oven mittens are priced at US$3.60 per dozen, pot holders at US$2.20, aprons at US$8.60 and tea towels at US$6.75.

Yearise manufactures its own standard designs for a minimum order of 200 dozen items, and custom-ordered designs for a minimum order of 800 dozen. Its 4,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan, mainland China, employs a staff of 400.

"We export to the US and Canada, but Europe is our biggest market, especially Germany," says senior marketing executive Kenny Lo. "We make many items like cushion covers, oven gloves and cotton place-mats." He adds that the product line extends to wallets and handbags. The company delivers 45 days after order confirmation.

Attention to detail is a sure sign of quality and makes kitchen textiles that much more appealing and interesting. Bontex Ind Co, a subsidiary of Bontex Corpn Ltd, is one such manufacturer. It has sewn a three-dimensional detail of stuffed miniature carrots onto a plain dark-green background for a line of oven mittens (model F2-OP-BT/2). A set includes the mittens and a pot holder and sells for US$1.44.

Janice Lau, assistant sales manager at Bontex, says, "We make aprons, oven mittens and towels for markets in France, Spain and Europe in general, and occasionally for the US." Delivery times vary from 30-45 days for a minimum order of 6,000 units per model, to 45-60 days for a full container.

Another company that has adopted this type of design is Potter Ind Ltd, which has a selection of three-dimensional features in lively floral and vegetable patterns. Potter manufactures an extensive range of textile products for the bathroom and kitchen, including bowl covers, auto-opening food covers, aprons, hand towels and oven mittens. Items carry the Home Master brand name.

The company sources quality materials from the mainland, the UK and Japan, and serves predominantly the US, French and UK markets. It requires a minimum order of US$2,500, and delivers within 45 days from the date of the order.

C&L Ind Ltd emphasises quality for its packaging as well as for the actual products, and provides sturdy plastic covers for individual items so they can be stored in their plastic pockets after they have been opened.

Manager Terence Choi says, "We produce a lot of PVC products and because of quota problems in EEC countries, our main market is South America." He says that C&L, whose products carry the brand name Pile Plan, started out as a trading company but expanded into manufacturing to offer high-quality, custom-design production facilities, because there were few companies that served this niche at the time.

Delivery -- originating from its three-floor factory in Dongguan, on the mainland -- takes 35 days after order confirmation.

Eastrade Ind Ltd has also taken an innovative approach to its products, this time in the area of product development. "Every three years we develop new products in different product areas," says managing director Wilfred Lam.

Eastrade now produces a variety of goods for the kitchen and bathroom. "Kitchen textiles make up one-third of our total sales," he says. The company employs 1,000 workers at its two manufacturing plants in Shiyang and Shenzhen, on the mainland, and at its headquarters in Hong Kong. The minimum order is 300 dozen of each design for each item, for delivery in 45 days.

One of the more well-established textile businesses is Mie Mie Handbag Fty, with 24 years' experience in the manufacture of bags and handbags. It expanded production to include kitchen textiles 12 years ago, and now produces bright, lively designs on products such as aprons, oven mittens and pot holders.

"We started with only five or six employees, but now we have 250 workers at the factory in [mainland] China and four in the office in Hong Kong," says company representative Ivy Chan. Mie Mie caters for the US, Japanese and European markets, and delivers about 30 days after order confirmation. The minimum order is 120 dozen or 10 cartons.

Wai Lee Mfy Co Ltd makes aprons, oven mittens and shopping bags. "Like many companies in Hong Kong, we moved our factory from Hong Kong to [mainland] China about six years ago," says spokesperson Sam Cheung. Wai Lee employs 80 workers at its Guangdong plant, and sources materials such as cotton, nylon and PVC from Taiwan and the mainland. It focuses on the US and EU markets.

Written by Meiling Voon


SWEET DREAMS
Bedding

An all-cotton quilt cover and pillowcase set in solid colour comes from AAA Enterprises Ltd.

A GOOD night's sleep depends on many things, but certain to improve anyone's slumber is a bed made with crisp sheets and a warm duvet.

"Different styles are popular in different markets," explains Elaine Tsang, marketing director of Shui Tin Bedding Supplies Co Ltd. "In Hong Kong, people prefer printed patterns for their bedding but for other markets, plain dyed materials are more popular."

Shui Tin has been manufacturing bedding collections since 1991 and has a monthly sales volume of about HK$3m. All materials are sourced in mainland China and manufactured at the company's factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland.

Made of 50/50 polyester/cotton, the 892 fitted sheet set comprising two pillowcases measuring 18x28 inches and sheet measuring 54x76 inches sells for HK$48.50 FOB Hong Kong.

The 902 set, with a sheet measuring 60x76 inches and two pillowcases, sells for HK$52 per set. The company also manufactures quilt covers, such as the 012 design measuring 70x90 inches and selling for HK$76 FOB Hong Kong.

There is no minimum order requirement and delivery takes 30 days after order confirmation.

Shui Tin's main markets are Hong Kong, the mainland, South Korea and Canada, where products appear under several brand names, including Interlude, Charmante, Westfalia, Wadaland and Fordland.

Mauriello (HK) Ltd, established in 1977, manufactures hand-embroidered cotton and linen bed sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, tablecloths, placemats, napkins and towels.

The BS050 set in blue cotton with white embroidery consists of one bed sheet (240x300 centimetres) and two pillowcases (50x65 centimetres), and sells for US$71.90 per set FOB Hong Kong.

The BS053 is made of pink percale cotton with white embroidery. The set, also comprising one bed sheet (270x300 centimetres) and two pillowcases (50x80 centimetres), sells for US$80.40.

The DC-59-Dots duvet cover features white linen with embroidered dots and includes a cover (240x220 centimetres) and two pillowcases (80x80 centimetres). It sells for US$324.50 FOB Hong Kong.

Mauriello's main markets are Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, the UK, Japan, Australia, and the US, says merchandising manager Constance Fu.

Cotton, linen and mixed linen are sourced from the mainland and Pakistan for manufacture in factories on the mainland and in Vietnam. The company has offices in Hong Kong and Italy.

"We have our own designs, but we also accept clients' designs for manufacture. White and pastel colours tend to be the most popular," Fu says. Mauriello's products appear under the brand name Marika Linen.

Minimum order size is between 20 and 30 sets, depending on style. Delivery takes 4-6 months after order confirmation.

Kai Yuen Co Ltd exports silk blankets made in Ningbo, on the mainland, from pure Chinese silk. According to merchandiser Ida Cheung, about 5,000 blankets are produced per month.

Silk blankets, available in plain and printed colours, measure 150x210 centimetres and sell for US$60-78 FOB Hong Kong each. Minimum order is 500 blankets (at least 100 per colour) and delivery takes 45-60 days after order confirmation.

Cheung says main markets are Japan and Europe.

King Long Textile Ltd offers table linen, bedding and down products, including items suitable for hotel use. Established in 1992, King Long produces 10,000 bedding sets a month or 15,000 down duvets.

A six-piece set (KLT-019544) of printed bedding in 100% cotton with a 200 thread count is priced at HK$540 FOB Hong Kong. The KLB-019302 six-piece set of 50/50 cotton/polyester with a 180 thread count, sells for HK$450 per set.

Minimum order is 300 sets per design, with delivery 45 days after order confirmation. Major markets are Japan and Canada.

Various household products -- from shower curtains and washing lines to bedding -- are manufactured by Wing Hing Houseware Co Ltd. Established in 1985, the company produces an average of 5,000 bedding sets per month at its factory on the mainland, mainly for the Hong Kong market, where its products appear under the brand name Celia.

Bedding is made of polyester and cotton, sourced on the mainland. A fitted sheet measuring 48x74 inches with two pillowcases (WY48) sells for HK$42 per set. A multi-use quilt measuring 70x90 inches (BA018) sells for HK$115 and the 70x90-inch quilt cover (BA015) is priced at HK$63 FOB Hong Kong.

Minimum order is 300 pieces per style and delivery takes 30 days after order confirmation.

AAA Enterprises Ltd has been manufacturing textiles for the home -- including bed sheets, bedspreads and curtains -- since 1983. The company has a factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, turning out more than 7,500 bedspreads and bed sheets a month. Cotton-satin sheeting is sourced on the mainland.

A 100% cotton quilt cover and pillowcase set in either printed design or solid colour sells for HK$110 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum orders are 1,600 bedspreads and 2,000 bed sheets, with delivery between 60 and 90 days after order confirmation. Packaging is a polybag with photo inlay, which can be altered to suit customers' requirements. OEM work is also undertaken.

Markets are Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, the US and Brazil. "These bedding sets are popular in European countries. [About] 70-80% of our business is printed fabrics and the remainder is solid colours. In spring and summer time, pastel tones sell well, whereas in autumn and winter, our customers prefer darker colours," says director Gary Lai.

Written by Vivien Jones


STYLISHING SOLUTIONS
CD Racks/Cabinets

Lovely Home Enterprises Ltd uses plywood from Malaysia and Indonesia to make its range of wooden CD racks.

FINDING stylish systems to store growing compact disc collections can be a problem. Manufacturers of CD racks and cabinets in Hong Kong are addressing this dilemma with a range of units that are functional, fashionable and will not look out of place in the most elegant of homes.

Faithful Int'l Trading Ltd offers a range of wooden furniture, from chests and cabinets to writing desks and bookcases, manufactured in its factory in mainland China.

Particleboard, MDF (medium-density fibreboard), plywood, PVC and paper are sourced from Japan and Canada, says sales representative Cissco Chu. The company's main market is Japan and its products appear under the brand name Landuen. Faithful is in the process of obtaining ISO 9000, says Chu.

Among Faithful's range of CD racks and cabinets is the CY-011. Measuring 15x15x31 inches, it is an upright model with stainless steel dividers and sells for HK$380 FOB Hong Kong each.The minimum order is one 40-foot container and delivery is 30 days after receipt of L/C.

Decorative CD racks are a stylish solution manufactured by Lovely Home Enterprises Ltd. Hand-painted with a distressed finish, these units are particularly popular in the US, where the country house look is fashionable, says manager Simon Chan. "We are emphasising these middle-priced items and special promotion lines, and we think they will remain popular for the next year or two. After that we will be looking into researching new designs," Chan says.

The company offers a doll-house style CD rack (model 1364-FA153A), priced at US$52.31 FOB Hong Kong; a four-tiered CD table (model 1337-FE084A) at US$58.49; a CD rack shaped like a house (model 1327-FA144A), at US$50.02; and a CD rack in the style of a revolving lighthouse (model 1251-FJ015A), priced at US$59.43. According to Chan, the lighthouse model is extremely popular. All models are made of MDF and plywood, sourced from Malaysia and Indonesia, says Chan.

Since 1996, Lovely Home has been manufacturing a range of wooden furniture, as well as mirror frames and ceramic garden planters. The company has a monthly production capacity of between 4,000 and 6,000 pieces.

Minimum order is 100-300 pieces per item (roughly making up one 40-foot container). Delivery time after order confirmation is 75-90 days.

Lovely Home's major markets are the US, Brazil, Finland and Japan.

Sunhing Millennium Ltd has been manufacturing storage products since 1957 and offers a range of practical systems for storing audio and video products.

Using plastic, wood and metal sourced from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, the US and China, Sunhing's systems are manufactured in the company's 700-worker factory in Dongguan, on the mainland.

The company's products carry the brand name AVEC, and are sold mainly to Germany, France and Japan. Marketing development manager Alfred Ching says: "The trend for CD racks is towards greater storage as people's collections get larger. The design is important for its decorative function and pricing must be competitive."

Holding 51 CDs, the Giraffe model 5152 comes in eco-friendly style cardboard packaging. The model has an MDF, wood and aluminium body and a wooden stand (which is removable for wall hanging), as well as removable partitions. It measures 15.6x13x92.2 centimetres and weighs seven kilograms.

The Alto model 4651 holds 80 CDs and has a body and floor stand of solid acrylic, and an aluminium spine in a satin finish. It measures 31x29.8x124 centimetres and weighs 3.7 kilograms.

The Cupid model 0512 is a swivel shelf tower for 80 CDs, measures 30x21.5x68 centimetres, weighs five kilograms, and is available in four colour combinations.

Prices are available on request. Production is to the value of about US$1.5m per month and the minimum order is one TEU, with delivery 30 days after order confirmation.

Zinda Co Ltd manufactures racks and towers for audio and video tape storage. The company has been in business since 1989 and its factory on the mainland turns out about 200,000 units per month. MDF and particleboard are sourced from Belgium and Malaysia.

The MTS-N96 model is made of MDF and stands about four feet high. The Universal Rack is adjustable to accommodate a selection of video tapes, CDs and mini discs, and it sells for US$12 FOB Hong Kong each.

Minimum order is 3,000-5,000 pieces, with delivery 45 days after order confirmation. Marketing department spokesperson Jenny Hung says major markets are Japan and Europe and the company produces to OEM.

Wooden ceiling fans, speaker boxes and storage cabinets and towers for video and audio tapes and CDs are manufactured by Charter Centre Co Ltd.

Wooden CD tower model CDT-160 (P) has a painted finish, stores 60 CDs, and sells for US$5.90 FOB Hong Kong.

The company also manufactures smaller units accommodating fewer CDs in its factory in Bao'an, on the mainland. Monthly production of CD racks and cabinets is about 100,000 units. Wood is sourced from Malaysia and New Zealand.

Minimum order is one TEU and delivery takes 30-40 days after order confirmation.

According to director WH Ng, major markets are Europe, Australia, Japan, the US and South Africa. Marketing department spokesperson Andy Lee says: "We have found that different markets are looking for different styles. In the US, they prefer more traditional styles whereas the European market is more fashionable, preferring modern CD towers."

Written by Vivien Jones


FURNISHING COMFORT
Living Room Furniture

Foochow Lacquer Ware & Furniture Ltd decorates its products with traditional Chinese bird and flower patterns.

FURNITURE is an integral part of a home. The living room is often the central focus of the house and the choice of furnishing needs to combine durability with both comfort and style. For many years Hong Kong has been a leading producer of such furniture and its manufacturers produce a large quantity in a wide array of materials and styles.

Earnbusy Ind Ltd was established in 1989 and produces more than a hundred 40-foot containers of rattan furniture each month. "Our company has earned an excellent reputation for quality because we only use the best materials and the factory where we manufacture has over 25 years' experience in rattan-furniture manufacture," explains general manager Rachel Li.

Earnbusy manufactures in mainland China, with sales and marketing carried out from Hong Kong. Major customers come from the US, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. "Prices depend on the quantity and the product. We manufacture everything for the house, from magazine racks, stools and mirrors to larger pieces such as glass-topped tables, screens and chests. One of our most popular products is the furniture set, consisting of a settee, two chairs and table," says Li.

Minimum order is one 40-foot container and delivery takes 45-55 days following confirmation of order.

Some companies specialise in a certain style of furniture, while others focus on using specific materials. Elite Arts Trading Co is one of the latter, manufacturing a variety of furniture in rosewood. "We use five or six different types of high-quality rosewood sourced from Southeast Asia," says marketing executive Samantha Yau. "Our experience means we understand about wood, that it needs to be looked after, which includes making sure our customers' orders are shipped with care."

The Elite rosewood range includes the coffee table set, desk with two drawers, and cutlery chest, selling for US$1,800 FOB Hong Kong, US$525 and US$710, respectively. Elite sets a minimum order of one 40-foot container and delivers in 90 days for rosewood products.

"We have customers based in countries all over the world. The sets are very popular in Asia, whereas our European customers tend to want smaller items," concludes Yau.

Another company specialising in rattan furniture is K-Tat Enterprise. "We have over 20 years' experience of rattan-furniture manufacture. We only use the best-quality, thick-stemmed rattan from Indonesia, which is one of the strongest," explains manager CP Wong.

K-Tat has made its mark and is currently shipping between eight and 12 40-foot containers each month to customers in Europe, Panama and Australia. "We have agents in several cities in Australia, making it one of our most productive markets. However, South and Central America are starting to provide us with more business and look good for the future," says Wong. He says that the furniture sets, comprising a sofa, two chairs and a table, are very popular, with FOB Hong Kong prices starting at US$210 per set.

K-Tat manufactures on the mainland but has sales and marketing based in Hong Kong. Its minimum order is one 40-foot container and delivery is within 45 days of order confirmation.

Foochow Lacquer Ware & Furniture Ltd, as its name suggests, specialises in traditional-style ornate furniture. As sales manager Wendy Chan explains: "Our major product is lacquered furniture with traditional Chinese bird and flower patterns, which is very popular in Europe and the US. We mainly manufacture our own range of designs but are also experienced in producing furniture to our customers' own specifications."

The Foochow range is wide and includes a three-piece hand-painted lacquer screen (US$264 FOB Hong Kong), hall chest (US$240), chest with three drawers (US$366), chest with four drawers (US$264), and night table (US$144). The company has no minimum order and delivers within 60 days of confirmation of order.

"Our firm was established in 1974 and over the years we have built up a very good reputation for service, quality and competitive pricing," concludes Chan.

In contrast to the traditional designs offered by many companies is the range of furniture manufactured by Grand Classic Ltd. Established in 1992, the company produces high-quality contemporary furniture in a wide range of materials to satisfy its global customer base. "Each country has its own individual preference for particular materials," says marketing director Joyce Wu. "The Europeans like wood, US customers leather and marble, and in Asia they want wood, marble and glass. We can supply all of these and in many designs."

The firm manufactures on the mainland, using materials from the mainland, Taiwan and Europe. The Grand Classic collection includes metal-and-glass coffee tables, which sell from US$160 per piece FOB Hong Kong, and fibreglass/marble coffee tables from US$96 per piece. These prices apply to minimum orders of one 40-foot container. Delivery takes 30-45 days.

"We have our own niche in the market as our designs are quite unusual for Hong Kong. Our major customers are in Southeast Asia, although the US, Japanese and European markets are all growing," concludes Wu.

Written by Simon Saunders


QUALITY FITTINGS
Bathroom Fixtures

Regent Int'l (HK) Ltd specialises in making multifunctional shower heads, carrying the Ugenex brand name, that feature a variety of selection sprays.

QUALITY bathroom accessories are becoming increasingly important to consumers. Standard units such as shower heads and wall fans are being updated and improved in a bid to woo discerning customers.

At Regent Int'l (HK) Ltd, multifunctional shower heads are the way of the future, according to marketing executive Florence Ng.

"We are positioned at the mid- to high-end of the market and we have found that our customers are looking for more quality and more choice from their shower units. We believe that in the future our shower units should offer more functions and more settings."

The Azure shower head models SH89W4, W6 and W8 offer four, six and eight selection sprays, are handheld units and are made of ABS sourced from Japan. In window box packaging, they sell for US$6.73 each (W4 with white rubber dial), US$11.10 (W6 with chrome dial) and US$13.64 FOB Hong Kong (W8 with matt-chrome dial).

Regent also manufactures push-button models in clamshell packaging. The SH813K sells for US$11.88 and has three selections, while the SH819K has six selections and is priced at US$16.72 FOB Hong Kong. "The push-button model is a definite trend for the future," says Ng.

The company sells about 80% of its shower heads and accessories to the US market under the brand name Ugenex, but has plans to expand its European operation into Spain, France and the UK in the near future.

From its factories in Shenzhen and Panyu, in mainland China, Regent produces 100,000 shower heads a month. Minimum order is 3,000 pieces per model, with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation.

Established in 1978, Kologn Ind Co Ltd manufactures kitchen and diet scales, timers and shower heads.

Made of ABS sourced from Taiwan, the KL-68 adjustable shower head holder is available in a choice of colours and sells for HK$9.80 FOB Hong Kong. Finished in chrome plate it sells for HK$16.20.

The KL-601S is a two-in-one shower head unit with hose and sliding bar made of ABS or chrome plate and sells for HK$59.50 (in ABS) and HK$75.30 FOB Hong Kong (in chrome plate).

The company has a monthly production of about 30,000 units at its mainland factory. Minimum order is 1,008 pieces, with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation. Kologn, which manufactures under its own brand name, produces for markets in the UK, US, Malaysia and Singapore.

Bathroom sets — towel rails, shelves, mirror, cup and toilet roll holders — are manufactured in ABS by Southchina Engineering & Mfg Ltd. This is a relatively new venture for Southchina, says managing director KS Leong. "We are a plastics manufacturer looking to expand our business through these bathroom units," he explains.

Established in 1992, Southchina can manufacture about 500 bathroom sets per day, says Leong. Minimum order is 1,200 units, to be delivered a month after order confirmation. Model SEL-900, in ABS sourced from Taiwan, is a European-style unit that sells for US$12.70 FOB Hong Kong.

Retractable washing lines are a useful addition to any bathroom, and Yudo Ind Ltd manufactures both a four-line unit and a six-line unit for markets in the US, Japan and Europe. Manager Juliana Lam says, "We have been a manufacturer of household and kitchen wares since 1988, and we now have a monthly production capability of more than 100,000 [washing line] units."

The firm's washing lines are made of polypropylene, sourced from the US, Japan and South Africa. Model 9103 has six 12-foot lines giving a total drying area of 73 feet and sells for US$2.05 FOB Hong Kong (for a minimum order of 1,800 pieces), while model 9104 has four 12-foot lines and a total drying area of 48 feet, selling for US$1.50 FOB Hong Kong (for a minimum order of 2,400 pieces). Delivery takes 30 days after order confirmation.

Several types of bathroom fan are manufactured by Waon Development Ltd, established in 1991. Additionally, Waon produces heaters, blenders, air cleaners and vacuum cleaners for markets in Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan and mainland China.

The company produces 250,000 units a month in its mainland factory. Minimum order is one TEU, with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation. Materials are sourced from Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Australia and South Africa.

Waon's axial fan with pull-cord switch (EURO 5M) sells for US$14.78. The axial fan with automatic shutter (EURO 6A) sells for US$22.17 and wall-mounted centrifugal fan EURO 100 sells for US$17.33. All prices are FOB Hong Kong.

Waon also manufactures accessories such as a satellite speed regulator (EURO SC ), which sells for US$14.02, and a satellite infrared remote control unit (EURO RC), which is US$34.14.

Waon's products appear under the brand name Airmate, and the firm also does OEM.

Written By Vivien Jones

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