1 Oct 2003
Hong Kong Gifts, Premiums and Stationery - Product Features
Aser Promotions Ltd presents a wide range of pens for promotional purposes, including mini ballpoint pens with key chains and plastic retractable ballpoint pens
While coloured flashing lights may be the hottest novelty in today's premium pens market, Hong Kong manufacturers also continue to cater to children and artists inspired by classic colouring pens and pencils.
Embracing the trend for add-on features is seven-year-old Premium Collection Industries Ltd, which produces a wide range of metal, plastic, novelty and highlight pens and premiums. "Our most popular pens are the plastic LED single flashing or rainbow multicoloured light pens," says manager Alan Lai. "Most customers are looking for something with novelty appeal."
Premium Collection's single flashing light pens come in eye-catching blue, red, green, yellow, and orange. The Space Collection range of plastic pens sprayed with rubber for a modern look and easy hold are also hot items. "Our model 916 is very popular and is available in black and blue," says Lai.
Also new is the four-in-one plastic laser pen. "This combines a light, laser pointer, ballpoint pen and PDA," explains Lai. Available in bright, funky colours, its chubby modern shape creates added appeal.
The minimum order is about 3,000 pieces depending on the model, for delivery about 30 days after order confirmation, while major markets are the US, Europe and Asia. "We are also looking at South America as it is less competitive," says Lai.
Echoing the growing trend for novelty pens is 12-year-old Eagle (Int'l) Development Co. Specialising in manufacturing gift and premium ballpoint, roller and fountain pens and pencils, Eagle produces up to six million multifunction pens a month incorporating metal, plastic, wood and flashing LEDs. "Plastic and metal pens are our most popular models, especially ballpoint pens with logos," says marketing executive Sandy Chow.
Hot sellers are pens with flashing lights in the upper barrel. "We launched our single flashing light pens (with red, blue, green or yellow lights) last year and our rainbow multicoloured flashing light LED pens at this year's Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair," informs Chow.
"Our wide range is always popular, including an LED torch pen, a retractable key chain pen and a massage pen with a vibrating top," she adds.
North America and Europe are key markets, while other important outlets are South America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.05-3.50 per piece for a minimum order of 5,000 pieces per model delivered 30 days after order confirmation.
Also specialising in premium, promotion and gift set pens, as reflected in the names of end-users such as Sony, Microsoft, DHL and Cathay Pacific, is Future Source Pens Ltd.
Established in 1996, the company produces metal, wooden and plastic ballpoint pens, fountain and roller pens and mechanical pencils, pen sets and letter openers. Production takes place at a 10,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.
"Most popular among our 200-plus styles are metal pens in a wide range of colours and finishes," says sales executive Jenny Kwok.
Noting that the market is highly competitive, she says the company is hoping to develop new lines in the classic, quality pen market to further expand its business in existing markets that include the US, Europe, Australasia and South and East Africa.
"US customers favour electronic pens with added functions like lights, massagers, sensors, lasers, sound and recorders," she says. "European buyers are more traditional."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.75-1.50 for metal pens and US$0.10-0.40 for plastic pens, without printing. Minimum order is 2,000 per item for metal and wooden pens, and 5,000 for plastic, for delivery 30 days after order confirmation.
Bucking the trend in novelty pens is Konwell Industries (HK) Ltd, which has manufactured quality, classic colouring and HB graphite pencils since 1996 in addition to a range of small plastic and metal stationery items.
Konwell produces super quality lead, water-soluble colour lead, metallic colour lead, neon colour lead, dual coloured and triangular style pencils. Available in numerous types of flat packs, tubes and coloured containers, pencils are also available with caps and standard and/or novelty erasers.
Konwell produces five million pieces a month from its 150-worker factory in Fuzhou on the mainland, says managing director Albert Chu. "We manufacture largely for the back-to-school market, which peaks around August, and the professional or artists' market, which is always looking for top quality pencils," he explains.
Quality pencils come in high, medium and low coloured lead weights, with professionals usually opting for the higher weight. The company handles OEM projects and sells under its own Qualis brand. It recently produced a new, bendable (break-resistant) coloured pencil. "We introduced this about a year ago and it's proving very popular," says Chu.
"All our pencils conform to EN71 Part 3 and are of strong quality, unlike cheaper ones available on the market that easily break, especially when sharpening them."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices vary according to grade and size, but a set of 12 coloured pencils in a printed card package costs approximately US$0.20 and a single professional high quality pencil costs US$0.03.
Europe and the US are the company's main markets for minimum orders worth at least US$5,000 for delivery 45 days after order confirmation.
Whether it is classic pencils or novelty pens, scribblers around the world are discovering that Hong Kong's quality writing instruments provide much more than lead and ink.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Konwell Industries (HK) Ltd
54 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Lincall Int'l Co
Kowloon Investment Co Ltd Fty Bldg
2-12 Bute St
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Premium Collection Industries Ltd
Shun Fat Ind Bldg
17 Wang Hoi Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
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