30 May 2008
Kid's Stuff(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 06,2008)
Maternity & Baby Products
Delightfully innovative offerings from Hong Kong leave both mothers and children spoilt for choice
Proud parents worldwide are becoming increasingly discerning in their choice of maternity and baby products. Happily, they can rely on Hong Kong suppliers to satisfy their needs and demands with appealing and innovative designs and full assurances regarding safety and quality.
Despite a less-than-rosy global economic outlook, indispensable items such as children's shoes continue to enjoy healthy demand, says Managing Director M.Y. Ko of Kinway Garments Ltd. A supplier of shoes for babies and children of all ages, the firm uses its own Chariot brand as well as producing for clients' labels.
"Our children's shoes are mostly made of high-quality PU polyester and canvas, and they come in a wide variety of colours and designs to suit different outfits and occasions," says Mr Ko, noting that the FOB Hong Kong/Shenzhen price for a pair of PU polyester children's shoes is US$3-4.
Other baby essentials include pram toys and rattles, such as the range launched in recent months by Learn-N-Play Toys Ltd that is made of high-end materials like Chief Value Cotton (CVC).
"CVC products are not new to us, but we didn't produce many CVC items until now," remarks Director Vincent Cheng. "We feel the time is right because people are increasingly willing to spend on high-quality products."
The collection includes a teddy bear (model 3212) that emits music at the pull of a string and is unit-priced at about US$2.50 FOB Yantian. The range also features a plush donkey and a zebra-shaped rattle.
Compared with the more simple needs of infants, products for toddlers have to be both appealing and fun to use. A good example is a musical toothbrush supplied by Perfect Mold Ltd.
"The musical toothbrush does not operate on batteries, and so is fully washable. The music, which is more of a 'dinging' tune, is produced by simply shaking the toothbrush," explains Assistant Managing Director Alison Tai.
"It is a particularly popular item, and clients have requested that we package it together with a similar musical hairbrush and a pair of scissors and sell them in a set," she says, noting that the price per set is about US$1.15 ex-factory Dongguan.
Other hot sellers include medicine dispensers and children's cutlery, all of which are made of the highest-grade synthetics such as TPE, ABS and PP, claims Ms Tai.
Apart from good design and product quality, the ability to continually innovate and adopt new technology is also a crucial success factor when it comes to manufacturing more sophisticated gadgets such as baby monitors. Good examples are two models (FD-2600 and FD-D601) launched by Flying Dragon Electronic Co Ltd in October 2007.
"The FD-2600 retains similar features as earlier models, such as the two-channel selection, sound level indicator and an out-of-range warning," notes Marketing Officer Zoe Yiu. "However, design-wise, it looks edgier and more cute." She says that the item's FOB Hong Kong unit price is about US$18.
"The FD-D601 has an LCD panel with a baby icon depicting 'cry', 'sleep' or 'awake' states, and a thermometer indicating the temperature in the baby's room. The LCD unit is more user-friendly than in earlier models, which had more codes and were more complicated to use," remarks Ms Yiu, quoting a unit price of about US$10 for the product.
Back to basics
When it comes to those most basic of infant necessities, disposable diapers, the emphasis of buyers is clearly on comfort and hygiene, and Nice Capital Int'l Ltd certainly understands these priorities with its Ours brand diapers.
"Unlike the inward standing cuffs of traditional disposable diapers, our patented outward standing cuffs fit snugly around the baby and are highly effective in preventing leakage, even when the baby is jumping around," claims Director Assistant Queenie Wong.
Ours brand diapers come in different sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. The large versions (model OS1-28L-2), for example, measure 330mm in width and 495mm in length and cost US$26.04 FOB Hong Kong per carton of eight 28-piece packs. The medium diapers (model OS1-8M-2), measuring 330mm wide and 445mm long, are available at US$26.84 per carton of 32 eight-piece packs.
The diapers have the seal of approval from mothers. "They've been hot sellers ever since they were launched 2-3 years ago," Ms Wong claims.
The business of producing maternity and baby products is clearly not child's play, yet Hong Kong suppliers have risen beautifully to the challenge with creations that are functional, good-looking and fun to use at the same time. Indeed, their offerings promise bundles of joy not only for mothers and kids, but also buyers seeking only the best for their patrons, big or small.
TEXT BY CHIARA WONG