7 Jan 2004
Hong Kong Gifts, Premiums and Stationery
The Scent Of Success
ACS Giftware Industrial Ltd's range includes incense sticks, ceramic holders, essential oil burners, candles and gift sets in Oriental designs
After a busy day at work, what better way to relax than with the soothing smell of lavender or the fragrant perfume of rose? Recognising the growing importance of fragrance to the feel-good factor, Hong Kong manufacturers are creating an array of aromatic products to induce positive feelings and ease tensions.
A prime example is three-year-old ACS Giftware Industrial Ltd, which produces a wide range of incense and incense sets, ceramic holders, essential oils, candles and home d莜or items.
"We provide more than 10 different aromas, both natural and synthetic, including our most popular fragrances, lavender, rose and sandalwood," says manager Alex Cheng.
ACS produces its own brand, La Aromatic Fantasy, as well as catering for OEM requirements at its factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland.
"Our most popular products are our gift sets incorporating candle, incense, ceramic holder and potpourri," says Cheng.
ACS's traditional Chinese dragon motif cloth gift boxes are particularly popular in Europe, which accounts for 70% of its total exports. "France is our biggest market in Europe and 30% of our business is to the US," notes Cheng.
Aroma preferences vary from market to market, says Cheng. "Europe likes softer fragrances such as sandalwood, lavender and rose, whereas the US prefers stronger smells like cinnamon, lemongrass and peppermint."
ACS sources wood powder and perfume oil from Europe and the Chinese mainland and minimum order size is 3,000 per item with 30-45 days for delivery. Prices range from US$0.20 FOB Hong Kong for small items to US$2.50 for a decorative cloth gift-boxed set of large ceramic holder, incense sticks and cones, aromatic candle and potpourri.
Other Hong Kong manufacturers, such as 10-year-old Micromark Hong Kong, are also looking at innovative ways to diffuse fragrances. The company designs, manufactures and markets its own Micromark-branded electronic consumer products manufactured at its 500-worker factory in Shunde, Guangdong Province.
Micromark recently developed an aroma lamp that incorporates an aromatherapy function within an attractive 25-watt electric side lamp. Available in a variety of glass shades, the lamp features a small dish incorporated above the light bulb to gently heat the essential oils at a constant temperature.
"We started developing the aroma lamp about a year ago because aromatherapy was becoming so popular and consumers were looking for lifestyle products to help them relax," explains marketing manager Michelle Chan.
"We are now exporting them to the US, Canada and European markets including Germany, Switzerland, the UK and France."
The aroma lamps come with three 1ml sample bottles of lavender, lemongrass and sandalwood oil. The FOB Hong Kong unit price is US$7 for a minimum order of 10,000 pieces delivered 30-45 days after order confirmation.
Ki Yip Chemical Works Ltd has also embraced aromatherapy in its wide range of products, which include wax candles, wax products, air fresheners and gift sets.
"Our specialty is wax candles and we spend much time and effort on R&D to integrate aromatherapy oils and Chinese herbs into our numerous designs," explains director Michael Lam. "We produce our own Joy Candle brand as well as OEM assignments."
Ki Yip manufactures both artificial aromatic and natural essential oil products. Other products include aroma floating candles and various containers for candle wax or air fresheners. "Our most popular items use blended fragrances with themes such as 'loving', 'joy', 'relaxation' and 'exotic'," explains Lam.
The company sources wax from the mainland, Japan, the US and Europe and fragrance oils from Europe, the US and the mainland for its products, which sell well in the US, Europe and Japan.
Minimum order value is US$2,500 per item per colour or style, delivered in 30-60 days from its factories in Hong Kong and Dongguan on the mainland.
Also embracing the growing trend for aromatherapy is Arombience Co Ltd, which manufactures scented gel and wax candles, toiletry products and air fresheners at its 100,000-square-foot mainland factory in Zhuhai.
"Arombience started in 1998 as a specialist gel candle manufacturer, but we are increasingly expanding into skincare and personal care products," explains managing director Dr Joseph Fong.
"Our most popular items are our gel candles, which are covered by two US patents, and our bath products."
With more than 20-30 natural and synthetic fragrances on offer, Arombience prides itself on its ability to develop special fragrances to meet customer demand.
"Generally, lavender is our most popular fragrance but our North American customers like functional oils such as eucalyptus for foot and hand care items," Fong explains.
Business in 2003 has been extremely good, says Fong, which he attributes to the numerous new products Arombience has available.
He adds that Arombience also enjoys Good Manufacturing Practice for Cosmetic Products (GMPC) certification. "Some clients don't recognise ISO 9000 but as GMPC is certified by international laboratories, buyers have more confidence," Fong maintains.
Arombience is now looking at expanding its skincare and toiletries business.
The company's major market is Europe, which accounts for 40% of its business and other markets include North America, Japan, Australia and South Africa.
More than 70% of Arombience's raw materials are imported from international suppliers and products range in price from US$0.15-10.00 FOB Hong Kong for a stylish gift set. Minimum order value is US$5,000 for assorted items with delivery 45-60 days after order confirmation.
With such a variety of aromatic products on offer, no wonder Hong Kong manufacturers are enjoying the sweet smell of success.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
ACS Giftware Industrial Ltd
Sino Ind Plaza
9 Kai Cheung Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Arombience Co Ltd
New Tech Plaza
34 Tai Yau St
San Po Kong, Kowloon
Golden Peak Plastic Works Ltd
4/F, Blk 1
Yau Tong Ind Bldg
2 Shung Shun St
Yau Tong, Kowloon
Ki Yip Chemical Works Ltd
Unit A, 10/F
Tin Fung Ind Mansion
63 Wong Chuk Hang Rd
Masters Bodycare Products Ltd
Rm A4, 1/F
Yip Fung Ind Bldg
28-36 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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