4 July 2005
Baby Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2005)
Bundles Of Joy
Working with the tremendous changes in the baby products industry is 20-year-old veteran manufacturer Unique-Max Toys & Novelty Ltd, which changed its name from Unique-Max Int'l Ltd in 2001.
"This was done to better reflect the plethora of baby products we manufacture," enthuses marketing executive Terry Tang. "Our range has everything from soft toys, beanies, bibs, blankets, towels, hangers, changing mats and bath sponges to Halloween costumes for two-year-olds and up."
Although frequently working on OEM orders, Unique-Max also develops its own creations, while keeping a close watch on the latest market trends.
According to Tang, one in-house collection is highly sought after by US customers. "Some years ago, we started our own line of baby items featuring rabbits, dogs, hippos, bears and elephants," he explains. "The success of this line is now assured as buyers are delighted every time we add a new item."
The latest creations in the animal series include bottle-holders, fabric photo frames, bibs, towels and hangers - all enlivened with vivid animal appliqu?
Utilising velboa, terry and kohair from the Chinese mainland, Unique-Max produces an average of 70,000 items monthly at its 3,000-square-metre factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland.
Also looking to satisfy babies' needs is Bowlstar (HK) Ltd, offering fabric books and plush toys in addition to towels blankets, caps and slippers.
"Fabric books form one of our best-selling products," claims sales manager Wendy Yen. "Our quality is well known and we are famous for our fine and durable silk-screen printing."
Yen notes that Bowlstar works solely on an OEM basis and has thrived thanks to competitive pricing and reliable delivery terms.
"However, we never sacrifice quality for price," she assures. "We inspect all incoming materials including plush, spandex and tricot sourced on the Chinese mainland and in Japan and Korea. We also perform SGS tests on all finished products as required by our clients in the US and Canada."
Incorporated in 1999, Bowlstar operates its own factory in Dongguan on the mainland, where its 1,500 workers produce goods worth some US$100m a month.
Looking after another essential need in the baby products sector is diaper specialist Aall & Zyleman Mfg Ltd, established in 1986.
Marketing and sales manager Joan Mok recalls the early 1980s, when only clients in Hong Kong and the Philippines bought the firm's Hong Kong-made diapers.
However, with better days, the company moved its manufacturing base to Dongguan in 1992. Its initial plant has since expanded from 50,000 to 80,000 square metres.
"Our market has also mapped out to include major countries in Asia, the Middle East and South Africa," continues Mok, who believes quality and versatility are key ingredients in the firm's ongoing expansion plans.
"Equipped with advanced machinery imported from Italy, our ISO 9000-certified plant processes quality imported materials," she asserts. "We ship in fluff pulp from the US, absorbent polymer from Japan and Singapore and PP fastening tapes from Europe and the US."
The firm's wide range of diapers is designed to cater to the needs of different markets. "We have models with additional functions and features," says Mok. "For example, there is an ultra-thin design with a super absorbent core and elastic waist for more sophisticated markets, while more basic versions are usually in demand from developing countries."
An item playing a hi-tech role in the baby products sector is the wireless baby monitor. Thanks to ever-increasing functions, out-of-sight doesn't mean out-of-mind.
"Our latest baby monitors are available with various features spanning continuous transmission, voice activation, digital code setting, pilot tone, LCD readout, temperature, nightlight, timer and other functions that parents demand," boasts Flying Dragon Electronic Co Ltd assistant business manager Zoe Yiu.
Flying Dragon has developed baby monitors since 1988, and today its designs are sold all over Europe under customers' brands or the company's own registered Baby Minder brand.
"We work closely with our clients to ensure we are fully informed about their needs as well as market trends. This facilitates better R&D and the use of cutting-edge technology, which are our core strengths helping keep us ahead of our competitors," claims Yiu.
"All of our products have passed the EMC and R&TTE Directives tests and obtained CE certification," says Yiu. "Our quality is well-recognised in Europe, having twice won best product awards in Denmark and Sweden in 2000 and 2001."
Flying Dragon has a three-storey factory in Shenzhen on the mainland that is equipped with PCB test equipment, SMT machines and other advanced production tools. As a result, the firm can produce 15,000-20,000 sets of baby monitors a month.
With such an all-round selection of quality baby products available, and with experienced manufacturers focusing on quality, safety and style, it is little wonder that Hong Kong is the baby products capital of the world.
Bowlstar (HK) Ltd
Nice Capital Int'l Ltd
Pearl Industrial Co
Truly King Investment Ltd
Unique-Max Toys & Novelty Ltd