29 Oct 2008
Leading the pack(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 04,2008)
Attractive and durable, promotional bags from Hong Kong pack a punch in getting clients' messages across
With the right design, tailor-made promotional bags help advertise brand names and ultimately nudge consumers to loosen their purse strings.
Few could resist the offerings from Chun Hing Plastic Packaging Mfy Ltd, which makes custom polybags and carrier bags such as model EPB0021. Fitted with a ribbon handle, the bottom-and-side-gusset Exclusive Promotional Bag measures 21x10x24cm and is popular with gift shops for its delicate presentation.
Prices depend on order specifications, such as size, materials and whether multicolour printing is required, says Product Development Manager Cliff Chan.
"To help clients create a striking brand image, we offer photo-quality, 12-colour printing for selected models, as well as a wide choice of handles, such as tri-fold handles, cotton cords, plastic loops, PP cords with eyelets, closeable plastic loops or clips, and PVC tubes with rivets or metal buckles to mix-and-match," he advises.
"Out of environmental concerns, more clients are asking for plastic bags made of lighter materials instead of the heavier materials more popular in the past. Bags produced with light plastic require less materials and consume less resources in the production process," observes Mr Chan.
The company's Glued Patch Handle Bag, for example, takes 30% less plastic material to produce compared with conventional varieties able to carry the same volume, thanks to its reinforced handle, advises Mr Chan.
Another top seller for Chun Hing is its Co-ex Bag, ranging between 8x3x10cm and 32x15x40cm in size, which can be made with one material on the outside and another on the inside.
"A popular combination is to have a white plastic exterior and an interior lining of a softer material in a different colour, which can be the client brand's colour," says Mr Chan.
For the environmentally conscious, the company's Compostable Bags are made of a biodegradable material that offers a natural tactile texture, while its duffle bags are made of degradable materials and are popular with sports goods merchants.
Also helping to save the planet one bag at a time is Recyclebag.net Group Ltd, whose range of reuseable bags is made of materials such as non-woven fabrics, canvas and cotton.
One of the non-woven models measures 14x4x12 inches and is fitted with 1x24 inch shoulder straps. "The fabric has a thickness of 80 grams per square metre, which makes the bag ideal for light shopping," says Secretary Emily Tse. "The bag is available in all colours, and clients can provide their own artwork for printing." A version with patterns applied using two-colour, silk-screen printing, for example, costs about HK$3 each FOB Hong Kong.
Businesses hoping to boost their brand image with an upmarket feel can look to Piano Brand Management Co Ltd, which provides a full suite of custom-made shopping bags as well as tailored packaging solutions and marketing services.
One best-seller is model PB5, measuring 280x410x150cm, which is made of embossed PU synthetic paper and has artificial leather string handles.
Prices start from HK$50 each FOB Hong Kong for a similar style with basic cotton cord handles, including two- to three-colour silk-screen printing.
"Demand for this kind of premium shopping bag is strongest in Europe where shoppers tend to be more trendy and sophisticated. A lot of orders come from luxury labels and high-end retailers over there," says Managing Director Byron Yeung.
The promotion shopping bag market is trending towards two extremes - some customers are placing increasing emphasis on affordability while others are willing to pay a premium for a fashionable and environmentally friendly brand image by using pricier and often greener materials, he notes.
"For instance, recycled paper in general costs 30%-40% more than non-recycled paper. In the premiums market, the more popular types of shopping bags are ones that are made of materials that have a natural texture, simple designs and plain colours such as brown," advises Mr Yeung.
"In the US and Asian markets where customers are more price-sensitive, the products and packaging solutions we offer are more price-oriented," he explains.
In addition to selling custom-made shopping bags, Piano provides one-stop branded packaging services from corporate identity design through to sourcing of materials and production of printed items for marketing campaigns.
With such a diverse range of products and services on offer, Hong Kong manufacturers are clearly leading the pack when it comes to promotional bags.
TEXT BY RICO NGAI