29 April 2005
Sporting/ Camping & Fitness Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 05,2005)
The increasing demand for sporting, camping and fitness products is fuelled in no small way by city dwellers increasingly aware that sedentary desk jobs demand a compensating active lifestyle. Fortunately, Hong Kong manufacturers have a plethora of goods to meet this need.
Take, for example, sports bags. No longer plain and dull, today's carry-all has the quality and style demanded by modern sports men and women - a fact not lost on Yiko Bags Mfg (HK) Ltd designer Alex Wong.
"To get inspiration for new designs, I try to observe how people on the street are using their bags. This helps me develop new concepts to enhance our range," he states. "I also attend trade fairs in Hong Kong and overseas, read lots of different magazines and surf the Web for trends and ideas."
Yiko, established in 1996, offers a new range of cooler bags, including one fitted with loudspeakers and another with drink bottles. "Our sports-related bags are technically different from the rest of our ranges," says Wong. "The loudspeaker cooler bag (AYI-5201), for example, allows the user to plug in a portable music player and enjoy music on the go. We also have a six-bottle cooler bag (AYI-4635) that is designed as a promotional item for packaging branded drinks. It is ideal for logos and advertising sports events."
Yiko uses polyester to make its standard range of bags. "However, for higher-end bags we use Cordura, which is a more expensive material," says Wong. "With our more fashionable designs, we use softer materials in keeping with market demand."
Production takes place at the firm's 9,500-square-metre, 500-worker plant on the Chinese mainland. Minimum order for coolers is 500 pieces and delivery takes 55-60 days to major markets that include Japan, Singapore and Europe.
Hoi Lee Enterprise (China) Ltd, established in 1979, is a manufacturer and trader with more than 20 years' experience in producing travel, leisure and sporting goods.
"Most of our products follow traditional designs, although sometimes we change the format a little or use different materials as required. There is steady demand for non-fussy, traditional goods," says manager Jacky Wong.
The firm's main product lines include folding and camping chairs, cooler bags, beach mats, picnic trolleys, hammocks and many more types of bags. The firm's long-term customers include big names such as Wal-Mart, Fujifilm, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, UPS and Shell.
"Each year, we visit major markets and customers and plan the upcoming production range to match needs and trends," says Wong. "We use mostly polyester, cotton canvas, some PE and PVC and also leather, while metal frames will be either steel or aluminium."
According to Wong, Hoi Lee is especially adept at manufacturing items in fabric or artificial leather, and is equally skilled in forming metal tube frames using raw materials from the Chinese mainland. "Our other strengths are sourcing and making OEM/ODM items," says Wong.
Production takes place at a 300-worker, 20,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, and major markets include the US, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the UK. Minimum order value is US$5,000 per shipment, delivered 25 days after order confirmation.
Established in 1983, Flying Dragon Development Ltd manufactures air pumps and all manner of lights within a wide range of sporting and camping goods.
"The air pumps are newly developed and come in rechargeable (battery supplied) or regular battery-operated formats. The main use is to inflate air-beds and the like, and they are typically used for camping," says engineer Ricky Lam.
"As for torches and lanterns, our new lines use LED lights for longer life. The lantern types are especially useful for general illumination at a campsite or on the beach. We use a krypton gas-filled bulb and an LED headlamp when really intense light is needed."
Product housings are made of various plastic materials sourced from the Chinese mainland, as are the LED lamps and filament bulbs.
"The camping and leisure pursuits sector is highly competitive, and to stay in touch with the market we attend electronics and lighting trade fairs as well as those for the gifts and premiums sector," says Lam.
Production takes place at an ISO 9001-certified plant on the Chinese mainland, and Lam advises that a minimum order is 3,000 pieces for delivery 45 days after order confirmation. Major markets include the US, Europe and Japan.
Max Concept Technology Ltd, meanwhile, offers health and fitness products such as sports expanders for strength training. "Our as-seen-on-TV range sells well in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and even Poland," says assistant merchandiser Judy Yip.
The ISO 9001-certified manufacturer turns out 50,000 sets of sports expanders (model MC0116) each month, and accepts minimum orders for 2,000 pieces for delivery 30 days after confirmation.
"This model helps tone, firm and shape muscles and is suitable for both sexes and all age groups," says Yip. "All items in the set come with non-slip foam handles."
Clearly, the outdoor, camping and fitness sector and Hong Kong make good sporting buddies.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Flying Dragon Development Ltd
Orient Health & Fitness Co Ltd
Yiko Bags Mfg (HK) Ltd