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MEALTIME MAGIC (HKTDC Houseware,1998)

 


Nov 1998



MEALTIME MAGIC
Dining Room Furniture

MEETING POINT
Coffee-Tables

EVERY COOK'S COMPANION
Cookware Sets

TRUE BREW
Coffee Makers & Grinders

MEALTIME MAGIC
Dining Room Furniture

FOR a dinner party or just a place to sit down to an everyday meal with the family, the right furniture is essential. Hong Kong manufacturers make dining room sets to suit any occasion, from casual to formal.

At Foochow Lacquer Ware & Furniture Ltd, the speciality is lacquered furniture in Ming and Qing Dynasty styles. “We can produce high gloss and matt finishes, or a crackle effect,” says Bret Sin, manager at the 23-year-old company.

The lacquer can be applied in any colour, with finishing designs painted by hand. “We can also do gold-leaf if the customer requests,” he says.

Foochow’s 20 or so styles of dining room sets are mainly made of Chinese oak, but other woods, including teak, rubber wood or rosewood, can be substituted. “These are hard, solid woods that do not break easily,” Sin adds.

Tables are usually 4-6 feet long, and can be ordered with 4-8 chairs. Typical prices for a table and four chairs range from HK$8,000 to HK$20,000 FOB Hong Kong, depending on the design and materials.

Hand-painted plywood screens measuring 6-9 feet long and 6-7 feet high, in 4-8 foldable sections, are typically priced from HK$700 to HK$6,000. “We do both Chinese backgrounds, as well as Italian and other European styles,” says Sin.

Minimum order for the dining room sets and screens is one TEU. Delivery takes 60 days after order confirmation.

Customers on a limited budget will appreciate Fairluck Enterprises Ltd’s dinette sets. Chairs and tables are made of mass-produced steel tubing. Tabletops can be ordered in Chinese hardwood, glass or marble.

“Our major market is the US so our 20 designs are American-style,” says Roger KO Lau, manager at the company, which was established in 1995. Fairluck exports to North, Central and South America.

A seven-piece set with a hardwood tabletop (132x76 centimetres) and chair cushions sells for US$80 FOB Hong Kong. The price is about 5% less for a five-piece set. A round table (70 centimetres) with two chairs can also be ordered. Glass tops cost an additional US$5; the cost for marble depends on the material. “Our furniture is popular because the price is economical,” says Lau.

The steel tubing can be ordered in any colour and customer designs are also welcome. Minimum order is one 40-foot container, with delivery in 45 days.

Lovely Home Enterprises Ltd is known for its rattan, teak and glass dining room sets which employ amusing polyresin creatures, such as monkeys, frogs or rabbits, as table stands.

“The polyresin looks like stone, and monkeys are the most popular seller,” says SW Cheung, vice-president of the two-year-old firm. The chairs are made of rattan and teak, sometimes rubber wood, and the glass tabletop can be ordered in round, square or rectangular shapes.

“We have over 30 different styles — Chinese, modern and European — and we export to Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East,” adds Cheung.

Price for a glass table (84x42 inches) with six or eight chairs ranges from HK$6,000 to HK$20,000 FOB Hong Kong. Other tabletop materials include wood, polystyrene and marble. Lovely Home also produces breakfronts, sideboards and bar cabinets in teak and rubber wood.

Clients can order by the piece, but a minimum order of 50 pieces is required. Goods are shipped 75-90 days after order confirmation.

Well Join Investment Ltd’s Ming Dynasty-style dining room sets add an elegant touch to any home. Sets of table and six chairs are made of rosewood and can be ordered with a matching breakfront.

“About 80% of what we make is Chinese-style, and the rest is French,” says Rita Ng, an executive at the 16-year-old firm.

Well Join sources rosewood from Myanmar and Laos and exports finished sets to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Europe, the US and Israel. Prices for its full range of dining room sets (table and six chairs) range from US$700 to US$2,000 FOB Hong Kong.

A set consisting of a rosewood table (60x36 inches) and six chairs sells for US$720. The company also makes a square table with four chairs. An extra leaf costs US$84. “We also have a 48-inch round table with six chairs and a 54-inch round table with eight chairs,” Ng adds.

The breakfront (60x19x34 inches), which consists of a sideboard and glass-fronted hutch, sells as a unit for US$792. A 72-inch breakfront is also available.

Minimum order is one TEU. Shipments go out in 60 days, but made-to-order items take four months.

Written by Andrea Pawlyna


MEETING POINT
Coffee-Tables

COFFEE-TABLES add a finishing touch to any living room. They serve as conversational centrepieces or as focal points around which people gather for a snack or drink.

Yuan Feng & Co Ltd is known for its Japanese-style hibachi coffee-tables, which feature one or more windows on top. “In Japan, they would have a stove inside to boil water for tea. But for us, it’s just decorative. You can store spoons or chopsticks, or put a plant inside,” says director Yang Pao-hua.

The handmade coffee-tables are made of elmwood and have double-sided pine drawers that run from one side to the other. Handles are made of brass. Prices run from US$123 FOB Hong Kong for the smallest size (30x20x13.5 inches) to US$138 for the largest (36x24x18 inches).

Yuan Feng also makes Qing Dynasty- and Korean-style elmwood coffee-tables, with or without drawers, priced up to US$185.

The company’s major markets are the US and Europe. Minimum order is to the value of US$8,000 and delivery takes 6-12 weeks.

Among the most popular coffee-tables made by Grand Classic Ltd are brass-electroplated, fibreglass sculptures of animals, such as deer, and other natural objects. The tables, with clear or tempered glass tops, are priced from US$110 to US$170 FOB Hong Kong.

“Brass-plating gives the same look as brass, but it’s more affordable,” says marketing director Joyce Wu.

Grand Classic also produces table bases made of fibreglass and lacquered to look like stone. These sell for US$95-120. Some models offer a combination of brass-electroplating and “stone touch” effects.

Another technique uses aniline dyes over fibreglass to create a realistic, painted effect. One model, which sells for US$145, depicts a brown violin resting against a paper scroll and folds of cloth.

The company also produces contemporary-style marble coffee-tables for US$150-250, and glass-topped wooden coffee-tables of beech wood or maple for US$50-80.

Minimum order requirement is one 40-foot container and delivery takes 30-45 days after order confirmation.

Henderson & Co Ltd specialises in handmade Chinese-style lacquered coffee-tables made of rosewood or teak with carved, painted or mother-of-pearl inlaid designs. The coffee-tables include 4-6 stools which fit neatly underneath.

“The model with mother-of-pearl inlay and six stools is our most popular seller,” says salesman Joseph Poon. The table measures 50x28x20 inches and sells for HK$3,000 FOB Hong Kong.

About 90% of Henderson’s designs are Chinese-style and the rest French. “We also make tables without any added designs or stools,” Poon says. Prices range from HK$1,000 to HK$3,000.

Most sales are to the US and Europe. There is no minimum order requirement and buyers’ designs are accepted. Delivery takes one month after order confirmation.

At Oriental Arts & Furniture, handpainted designs grace a variety of coffee-table styles. The firm has more than 250 models, many of them antique reproductions, with sales running about 50-50 between Chinese and Western styles, says director David Wong.

The company, established in 1972, sells knock-down models, to hold down costs for end users, and assembled units. “They are very easy to assemble,” Wong says. About 20% of units are knock-down.

Prices range from US$120 to US$200 FOB Hong Kong. Tables are typically made from a combination of solid wood, high-density fibreboard (HDF) and imitation crackle-finish leather. One Italian-style model that sells for US$180 has teak legs and a pine table base topped by an HDF tray fitted with imitation crackle-finish leather. The tray and legs are handpainted.

Most orders are from the US and Europe. Minimum order value is US$10,000 and delivery is 2-3 months after order confirmation.

Woody Conrad Mfr Ltd produces modern, easy-to-assemble streamlined coffee-tables made of solid wood, wood veneer or metal tubing.

“We think the simplicity of our tables is appreciated, along with the quality and the price,” says marketing manager Alfred Chan.

Rubber wood is used for the solid wood tables, and medium-density fibreboard with oak or beech wood veneer for the veneer tables. The last step involves applying a clear lacquer or polyurethane gloss. “We can paint the coffee-tables any colour the customer wants,” Chan says.

The solid wood tables are priced from US$30 to US$50 FOB Hong Kong, with the veneer ones at US$25-45. Glass-topped steel tube tables sell for about US$12.

The US and Europe are the main markets. Minimum order is one TEU, for delivery in 30-45 days.

Written by Andrea Pawlyna


EVERY COOK'S COMPANION
Cookware Sets

MOST consumers regard cooking pots and pans as once-in-a-lifetime purchases that they hope will stand the test of time. Sensitive to consumer expectations, Hong Kong manufacturers pay particular attention to quality, so that their products not only offer top performance, but also durability and reliability. Using the best stainless steel, companies offer cookware sets that not only match the manufacturing standards of their overseas competitors, but are also competitively priced.

BA Marketing & Industrial Co Ltd has 10 years' experience manufacturing kitchen accessories, including stainless steel cookware, for markets in Spain, Germany and the US. According to manager Jason Mok, the firm's steady growth is a result of its on-line quality inspection and policy of making "our customers feel confident that we are really taking care of their business".

Among BA's products are a 16x22.5-centimetre asparagus pot that is also ideal for cooking cobs of corn, priced at US$7.80 FOB Hong Kong; a shallow casserole pan measuring 24x12 centimetres, popular with BA's German clients and selling for US$7.50; and a stainless steel salad bowl set priced at US$4.50.

The company produces 60,000 cookware sets a month at its 4,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen, mainland China. The minimum order is one TEU, for delivery in 30 days.

"No change, no gain" is a motto United Pacific Trading Ltd sets great store by in order to maintain the high-quality stainless steel cookware products that its customers in Europe and the US have come to expect.

Model CPSU12 is an example of the company's innovative flair. A 12-piece cookware set made from 18/10 Japanese stainless steel, it features a super capsule bottom made up of 18/10 stainless steel, five-millimetre aluminium disk and a layer of copper wrapping, which ensures faster and more even heat distribution.

According to managing director Eddie Ho, the wrapping not only looks attractive but also offers excellent heat retention, thereby saving energy. Priced at about US$48 FOB Shenzhen, the sets are sold in individual coloured boxes.

Using quality machinery imported from Germany and South Korea, United Pacific produces on average 300,000-400,000 cookware sets per month at its 10,000-square-metre factory in Guangdong, on the mainland. Minimum order is one 40-foot container, and delivery takes 40 days.

Linkfair Ltd, established in 1995, specialises in stainless steel houseware. It has three factories based on the mainland, a workforce of 1,400 and the capacity to produce three million cooking pots a year. "Our moulds and tools are self-made to suit the requirements of any design our customers may give us," says manager Wendy Leung.

Linkfair favours a high mirror polish on its cookware, using 18/10 stainless steel from Japan and South Korea. A standard 16-centimetre cooking pot with a temperature dial set in the knob sells for US$15 FOB Hong Kong. Delivery is within 50 days, and the minimum order is one TEU.

Fung Lee (Asia) Ltd has been manufacturing household products for more than 26 years and boasts a monthly production of one million items and an annual turnover of US$25m.

Included in its cookware line is the Irene model, a top-of-the-range 12-piece casserole set. Using stainless steel for the bases, the set features glass lids and wood-look Bakelite knobs that contain a 24K gold ring. The set is priced at US$24.90 FOB Hong Kong.

The minimum order is one TEU, with delivery taking 30-45 days after confirmation. Fung Lee's leading export markets are the US, South America and Europe.

According to CK Lee, general manager of EMA Design & Industries Ltd, competitive prices, guaranteed delivery and long-term client co-operation are some of the keys to the company's success in the stainless steel products market.

EMA has two factories around Shanghai, on the mainland, with an overall floor area of 50,000 square metres and total workforce of 1,200. Using equipment from Japan and South Korea, the firm manufactures about 500,000 cookware sets a month for buyers in Europe and the US. Some of these are produced under OEM terms while others appear under the brand EMA.

Lee stresses that EMA's emphasis is on "tailor-made sets and prices" to suit the different requirements of its customers worldwide. The company's cookware sets range from standard models to those with a more complicated composition, and are priced between US$10 and US$45 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order is one 40-foot container, for delivery within 60 days.

Written by Robin Tassie


TRUE BREW
Coffee Makers & Grinders

REAL coffee is big business these days, with speciality coffee houses springing up in most major cities worldwide. Many people, however, are opting for a cheaper but no less authentic alternative by making their own at home. To satisfy this market demand, Hong Kong suppliers are drawing on their wealth of experience and advanced production technology by offering affordable, quality coffee makers and grinders to bring the irresistible aroma of freshly brewed coffee into the home or workplace.

Xceltech (China) Industrial Enterprises is an OEM subcontracting firm with nine years’ experience in the manufacture and export of home appliances. It has a range of five coffee makers, with prices ranging from US$4.40 to US$8.20 FOB Hong Kong.

The XL-2000, a sleek, hi-tech design with CE and GS approvals, features a 10-12-cup capacity, permanent filter, water level indicator and warming plate. The minimum order is 1,000 sets per colour and delivery takes 30-35 days.

The leading markets for Xceltech’s coffee makers are France and Brazil, and among the OEM brands that it handles are British, Moncafe and Philstar.

According to marketing manager CK Chan, the company believes in “exceeding customer expectations”. Consequently, emphasis is placed on investing time and attention to every detail of the first transaction with a client to ensure smooth shipment and customer satisfaction.

Century Holdings Ltd, established in 1992, offers electrical appliances, including a complete line of coffee makers, all certified for electrical safety to European standards.

Among the range is CM828, an 800W model for fast coffee brewing. It has a 10-12-cup capacity, permanent filter, optional timer, keep- warm function and anti-drip feature. It sells for US$7.50 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order is 2,000 and delivery takes 30-45 days.

Main market is Europe, notably Scandinavia, and the company prides itself on understanding not only buyers’ demands but, as director Benjamin Chan explains, “also the consumer requirements of buyers’ local markets”.

Century’s 2,000-square-metre factory in Shunde, mainland China, has the capacity to produce 60,000 coffee makers per month, some carrying the Widab and Wissel brand names.

From its factory on the mainland, HTS Enterprises Ltd, established in 1991, produces grinders and single-cup to large-capacity coffee makers for markets worldwide. “We are also an OEM manufacturer and our ISO 9001 application is being processed,” says director Frankie Li. All the firm’s products are GS and CS approved and carry the brand name Hanns.

Model 371-1, a 140W electric grinder and mixer, is priced at US$8.50 FOB Hong Kong. The grinder has a maximum loading of 75 grams and the blender attachment a capacity of 650 millilitres.

Model 702 is a 12-cup coffee maker that sells for US$7.20. It can be free standing or mounted on a wall and features an auto-stopper valve and auto-warm control system. Delivery time for all products is 30-45 days after order confirmation.

Kennise Wan, export sales executive at Proasia Ltd, says: “Good, better, perfect is our company philosophy.” The company is part of the Perfect Int’l Group, which manufactures a variety of home appliances, including coffee makers and grinders. “We always try our best to provide sophisticated products at competitive prices,” Wan says.

The company, which obtained ISO 9000 certification in 1997, employs about 1,000 workers in its 26,000-square-metre factory in Dongguan, on the mainland, and produces 5,000-8,000 coffee makers per month for export to Europe and the US. Its coffee makers and grinders are all GS and CE approved and appear under the brand names Aroma, Main System and Jata.

One of Proasia’s most popular models is GCH2001, a compact and stylish coffee maker that brews up to five cups, has a heating power of 750W and sells for US$8 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order is one TEU and delivery takes 45 days.

Princess Worldwide Ltd, an OEM and exporter of electrical household appliances, offers a unique combination of coffee maker and kettle, which can operate separately or simultaneously — enabling coffee and tea to be made at the same time.

The company has international patents for the design, function and concept, and offers it in a selection of sizes.

The Royal Twin (model 2140) comprises a 10-12-cup coffee maker, which includes a non-stick hot-plate, swing filter and anti-drip feature. The two-litre kettle is cordless with a rubber-covered handle for easy grip and includes a boil-dry cut-out switch.

Princess produces 20,000 of these models a month in its mainland factory, for markets predominantly in Europe. Minimum order is 3,000 units per model and delivery is 30-45 days after receipt of confirmation.

Written by Robin Tassie

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