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HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair

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The gamut of trendy and innovative household and lifestyle products is once again on show at the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, which has been further boosted by the addition of an extra 19,400 square metres of exhibition space.

Buyers are sure to feel at home at the 24th edition of the show held from 20-23 April 2009 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which now offers some 83,000 square metres of exhibition space.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the event hosts more than 2,900 booths with exhibitors from 36 countries and regions, showcasing a wide variety of innovative lifestyle products and home decorations.

Special highlights help ensure that the fair brings results for buyers. Products in a number of "hot" categories are brought together, creating a buzz and offering buyers plenty of choice:

  • Hall of Elegance - for designer collections and brand names that are the epitome of style and quality
  • Posh Corner - for a broad and eclectic range of distinctive home living items sporting style and creativity
  • Health and Wellness zone - for well-being products such as fitness equipment, health and personal care items, spa/aromatherapy, "silver age" products for older consumers and toiletries
  • Paintings and Objets d'Art zone - for a broad range of artistic products
  • World of Pet Supplies - for numerous pet-related products and services, including aquatic products, veterinary products, shop fittings and packaging

Attractions abound

Among other highlights are the Product Demo and Launch Pad sessions, where selected exhibitors unveil new, creative items.

Seminars are also held to update participants on key industry topics, from technological developments to market intelligence.

The fair is the perfect platform for contact building within the industry, which is further facilitated by a Networking Reception on the opening day.

The event is ideally located in Hong Kong, which boasts a strong houseware industry that shipped US$25.5bn worth of household products in 2008 to global markets led by the US, the Chinese mainland, Japan, Germany and the UK.

Over the years, the show has established itself as a major marketplace for exhibitors and buyers dealing in houseware and lifestyle products, including tableware, kitchenware, bathroom accessories, home decorations, home textile, carpets and handicrafts.

Clearly, the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair is the right place to look for the best picks to take home.

Home Hits

Participants in the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair often return year after year - and for good reasons.

This annual rendezvous has become a fixture on the calendar for houseware and lifestyle products industries across the world thanks to its effectiveness as a trading and information exchange platform.

The 2008 edition attracted 2,383 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions, including 15 group pavilions from Australia, the Chinese mainland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the US and Vietnam.

They presented an extensive array of offerings including tableware, kitchenware, pet accessories and home decoration items for 29,068 visitors from 145 countries and regions, including major retailers and distributors represented in 83 buying missions organised by the HKTDC.

"I am glad to come here to see new items every time and to re-order from existing suppliers," enthused visitor Alfonso Ochoa, Director General of Representaciones Albis S.A de C.V. of Mexico, a distributor of kitchenware and watches.

"It provides a good chance for face-to-face negotiations and the HKTDC is always here to offer assistance," he added.

His excitement was shared by UAE buyer V.K. Abdul Azeez, Branch Manager (RAK and Fujairah) of Al Aqili Distribution LLC. "There are so many different types of products and designs that there's no need to go anywhere else," he said.

Rave reviews

Exhibitors were also happy. "We are pleased with the results we achieve at the exhibition, as the fair attracts a large number of quality buyers from different parts of the world. We are very impressed with the HKTDC's professional services and organisation," said exhibitor Carol Yeung, Marketing Manager of United Asia Art Co of Hong Kong.

Equally impressed was Troy Anderson, President of FilterStream Co of the US. "We're dealing with a global market and to tap into that market you need the best show and there isn't one better than this," he remarked. "There's lots of international traffic that is really hard to find at any other fair."

Such ringing endorsements leave little doubt that participants in the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair can invariably expect to hit home runs.

Pampered Pals

Man's best friend and assorted other companions have become big business - to the point where they will have their own dedicated section at Asia's largest houseware fair.

The first edition of World of Pet Supplies will be one of the main attractions at the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, which will be held from 20-23 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

World of Pet Supplies has been created in response to strong consumer demand, which has seen pet ownership grow by leaps and bounds in emerging markets.

Keeping a pet is now a lifestyle choice as people become more affluent, with the result that they begin to see the animal as being a part of their family.

As such, they are increasingly willing to spend significant amounts of money on the latest products and services in order to keep their pets happy, healthy and comfortable.

According to Euromonitor International Research, the worldwide market for pet food and pet supplies was worth more than US$56bn in 2007, with projections for growth to total more than US$61bn by the end of 2008.

North American pet owners account for most of the spending, followed by Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and a rapidly increasing Eastern European market.

Even in these uncertain times, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association forecasts total US pet industry expenditures to rise 5% to US$43.4bn in 2008 over the previous year.

Almost US$17bn was set to be spent on pet food alone last year, with other major categories being general supplies, over-the-counter medicines and pet services such as grooming and boarding.

Recession fears, soaring petrol prices and a sharp increase in home foreclosures didn't stop Americans from spoiling their pets - in fact, pet ownership increased in the US according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, which noted that 63% of US households owned a pet compared to 56% in 1988.

This positive trend is repeated elsewhere in the world, with various sources reporting in 2006 that the number of pets on the Chinese mainland had reached 100 million. This figure is expected to top 150 million by 2010, with sales of pet products predicted to reach approximately US$5.9bn by the same date.

Keeping pets has very much become a symbol of affluence in Chinese cities these days, and the upshot is the emergence of a huge consumer market for services devoted to pampering pets.

For example, there are an estimated 500,000 cats in Beijing alone that cost more than US$2m a year to feed - to say nothing of additional expenditure on grooming and health care.

People in Shanghai shower as much as RMB600m on pets each year, while conservative estimates put spending on pets in Guangzhou at several million yuan a year.

Gaining ground

This burgeoning market has encouraged the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to include the World of Pet Supplies in the Hong Kong Houseware Fair.

World of Pet Supplies offers suppliers an exciting opportunity within the Asian region to promote their company image and products to a wide range of discerning buyers from around the world, including wholesalers, importers, distributors and retailers that specialise in pet-related products and services.

Buyers will be able to choose from a host of profitable exhibit categories including:

  • Pet Products and Services
  • Aquatic Products
  • Veterinary Products
  • Shop Fittings and Packaging
  • Trade Services

The fact that World of Pet Supplies is one of the highlights of the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair illustrates the importance of this niche within the wider home-living market.

The well-established Hong Kong Houseware Fair is a magnet for serious buyers from around the world sourcing houseware and lifestyle products; and also incorporates a number of added-value services such as seminars and networking opportunities.

World of Pet Supplies plugs into this energy, creating a unique and profitable synergy that benefits suppliers and buyers alike.