7 Dec 2004
Baby Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 12,2004)
A Growing Business
For example, Vico Infant & Gift Products Co Ltd offers more than 300 baby items, such as training cups, bowls, feeding dishes, bottles, soothers, children's mugs and bathtime products.
"Baby items account for some 65-70% of our export business," reveals marketing manager Mandy Ng. "Most popular is our wide range of baby feeder cups."
The 20-year-old company produces its own Kiddie Love and Bebe brands, as well as OEM orders carrying such licensed brands as Sesame Street, Disney, Hello Kitty, Thomas the Tank Engine and Burberry.
"Most of our business is in our own designs, with some customers adapting them to their individual requirements," explains Ng.
Europe is Vico's largest market, taking 60% of the output produced at its 450-worker, 70,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the southern Chinese mainland.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for Vico products start at about US$0.60, with bottle steriliser sets forming the highest priced items at US$2 each. "We are currently running a promotional item for PP feeding bottles priced at US$0.20 each," Ng adds. "Minimum orders are about 4,000 pieces, or one TEU of 3-4 mixed items delivered 30 days after order confirmation."
Meanwhile, electronics manufacturer Tsuen Shing Enterprises Ltd has created a profitable niche in baby monitors and baby phones.
"A popular item is our Baby Monitor personal security system, model BM241, which comprises a hand-held colour video display monitor and four-channel camera with a wireless RF transmission range of up to 300 feet in an open area," says assistant marketing manager Evon Chow. The BM241 retails for approximately US$200.
Another popular product is the Baby Phone, a more basic hand-held unit with two selectable channels and a transmission range of up to 300 feet in an open area. "This model is battery-operated and rechargeable and has a controllable sound monitor as well as a sound indicator allowing a soundless display of the intensity level of a baby's cries," explains Chow. "The unit retails for about US$40."
Tsuen Shing's WT441 baby monitor is designed to be used as a walkie-talkie long after baby grows up. "It retails at around US$40 and combines a baby phone and a walkie-talkie with a very wide range of up to three kilometres," Chow notes.
The company has 60 R&D engineers, 35 production engineers and 200 QA and QC staff who oversee 2,300 workers at 70,000-square-metre mainland production facilities at Zengcheng in Guangdong Province and Ningbo near Shanghai.
The ISO 9001-, QS 9000- and ISO 13488-certified company specialises in developing innovative products, and sources electronic components from the mainland and Japan. Minimum order is 3,000 sets delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation to Europe, Australia, the US and Russia.
The aptly named Kiddie Int'l Ltd produces more than 500,000 items of baby and infant toys a month at 10,000-square-metre, 3,500-worker production facilities in Hengang and Dongguan on the mainland.
Some 80% of the company's business is in stuffed and sewn toys, and the remainder is plastic items, says sales manager Connie Chan.
"We produce more than 100 different items. For the 0-12 month age range, for example, we offer 10 major lines, each comprising a number of different designs," she adds. "We have some 30 models of popular musical mobiles alone."
Baby products account for 80% of Kiddie's output, and infant toys the remainder. "The US is our largest market and takes 50% of our production, while Europe and Asia take the balance," says Chan.
Kiddie sources velour, tricot and TC from the mainland and Korea for minimum orders of 3,000 pieces per item delivered 60 days after order confirmation. Products can be produced to meet most approval and safety standards, and FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1 for a rattle to US$7 for a musical mobile.
Also important, according to woven and knitted baby and children's wear specialist Kinway Garments Ltd, is ensuring baby is warm, stylish and comfortable.
Kinway produces more than 20,000 dozen pieces per month at a 300-worker, 40,000-square-foot factory in Zhongshan on the mainland. "We manufacture approximately 150 styles each season, including knitted baby wear, denim and jackets," says managing director M. Y. Ko.
Among the most popular items are French terry T-shirt and pants sets, velour T-shirt and long pants sets, one-piece interlock pyjamas and velour one-piece pyjamas.
"Popular fabrics are knitted cotton interlock and velour as these are soft materials that are also more comfortable for babies," Ko explains. "Also, our baby wear is Azo dye-free, nickel-free and up to the safety standards required by the EU."
Kinway sources knitted and woven fabric from the mainland and requires a minimum order of 1,200 pieces per style delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation. Its main markets are Europe (80% of production) and the US (20%).
By offering such an abundance of choice, Hong Kong manufacturers are making it easy to keep babies safe, comfortable and pampered.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Kiddie Int'l Ltd
King's Baby Product Ltd
National Brushes & Plastic Mfy Ltd
Techwall Electronic Co Ltd