3 July 2007
Boxing Clever(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2007)
|Hong Kong-based Daily Treasure Industrial Ltd demonstrates a high degree of craftsmanship in its highly decorated ostrich egg jewellery boxes|
The first task is to catch the eye of the buyer, and natty wrapping can do just that. gift box suppliers from around the world find there is always demand for packaging that makes contents look more alluring
Looks do matter, and packaging can make a world of difference - especially for presents, when a delightful box can add perceived value to a gift and accentuate the thought behind it.
For example, a range of ostrich egg jewellery boxes from Hong Kong-based Daily Treasure Industrial Ltd is so ornate as to be reminiscent of pieces found in European palaces.
One model is covered in elaborately raised floral designs, crystal chains and imitation pearls, while its contents are accessed through a heart-shaped opening with doors. "The interior is lined with satin, and it can also be partitioned according to the customer's requirements," says executive Agnes Lau, noting that the eggshell container rests on a velvet-lined music box.
A similar model utilises the upper half of the shell as a lid and features a gold-plated butterfly. "The shells, satin, velvet and metal parts come from the Chinese mainland, while the imitation pearls are from the mainland or Japan and the crystal chain is sourced from Swarovski," Lau says, noting that items in the ostrich egg collection sell for US$40-50 apiece FOB Hong Kong.
Set up in 1989, Daily Treasure exports mainly to the US, France and Australia, and turns out some 3,000 assorted gift boxes a month. The minimum order is 24 units per style with a minimum order value of at least US$4,000. The lead time is 45 days from confirmation, and production takes place at an 80-worker factory in Heshan in Guangdong Province.
Angled toward women is a range of pink heart-shaped gift boxes from Bangkok-based Prima Collective (Thailand) Co Ltd. Box lids are smothered with artificial roses, enhanced by ribbon knots.
"Roses symbolise love, and these boxes are intended to be gifts on St Valentine's Day," says managing director Malee Indrakamhaeng, adding that the boxes sell especially well in Asia. Made mostly from mulberry paper, the boxes come in different sizes. One, measuring 19x19x6cm, sells for US$3.95 each FOB Bangkok.
There is also a collection of round Christmas gift boxes with lids garnished with imitation holly and berries. "These are also made from mulberry paper, while the decorative holly and other embellishments are made from plastic foam, flour and paper, all of which are sourced in Thailand," says Indrakamhaeng.
Prices differ with size, with a 21x21x10cm box selling at US$5.95. "Our products are handmade," Indrakamhaeng remarks, adding that the minimum order value is US$5,000 and that the lead time is 45 days after confirmation.
Selling under the Prima Gift brand, the 1999-established enterprise does business in the US and Japan. Production runs to about 50,000 gift boxes a month at a 5,000-square-metre, 300-worker factory two hours drive from Bangkok.
A firm keen on a furniture theme is Sydney-based Yipose Trading Co Pty Ltd, which offers a fancy gift box in the form of a pink sofa. The seat, fitted with a mirror on its underside, pulls up to access a three-compartment space for keeping jewellery or other small items.
Made mainly from fabric, vinyl, cardboard and plastic, the sequin-adorned, metal-legged sofa also comes with tiny cushions. "We make sure the physical dimensions are right for a Barbie doll," says sales manager Chris Keough, noting that the item is priced at US$6 each FOB Hong Kong.
There is also a set of 12 gift boxes resembling cup cakes embellished with beads and sequins. "Colours in the set include purple, pale pink and hot pink," Keough says, and adds that the price is US$1.30 per set.
The minimum order is 600 units for delivery 90 days after order confirmation. "We are a design studio," Keough says. "We have designers working in Australia and we manufacture in China, which works well."
The company sells mainly in Australia, which accounts for 80% of turnover. "New Zealand is also a strong market while the UK came aboard about two years ago. Sales to Canada and the US only started in February at the 2007 New York fair," Keough says.
Taizhou Huangyan Leader Creation Co Ltd has launched a colourful set of three gift boxes. When stacked, these look like a rabbit holding a carrot standing on a round platform with floral decorations. "The smallest box fits into the next size up, which can in turn fit into the larger one," says vice-manager Judy Wang, adding that the set carries a price tag of US$2.30 FOB Ningbo.
A set of three heart-shaped boxes, each featuring three layers of hearts in red, pink and purple, can also be put together in the Russian-doll manner. "These containers are all hand-sewn," says Wang, adding that the set is priced at US$3.50.
Noting that both models are made from felt sourced from the Chinese mainland, she says that all products comply with EN71 and azo-free requirements. The minimum order is 2,000 units for delivery 30 days after confirmation, and the 1999-established enterprise makes about 100,000 gift boxes a month at its plant in Taizhou in the eastern Chinese mainland.
The plant sits astride a 6,000-square-metre site, and there are some 300 workers. "We design and produce items under the Leader Creation brand or accept OEM orders," says Wang, noting that Europe contributes to 70% of all sales and that the firm also exports to the US.
Another company with a household focus is Hong Kong-based Artech Group's hand-crafted Retro Lounge collection of jewellery gift boxes that mimic classic leather furniture.
Actually covered in PU, they include a sofa with a seat that functions as a lid. Resplendent with metal-studded back and ornate metal legs, this item is completed by two cushions. This range also includes boxes in the form of square and round armchairs, some with inbuilt ring holders.
Noting that the PU and metal materials are sourced on the Chinese mainland, assistant sales manager Bondi Wong says: "These boxes are very stylish, and just what customers want."
She also points to a more feminine line of hand-crafted jewellery boxes that come in velvet and a sharply contrasting colour combination of pink and black. One model has a heart-shaped back and boasts a similarly-shaped, detachable cushion. The upper part of the chair functions as the box cover, with a looking glass underneath. The lower part is fringed with beads and has ornate metal legs.
Another item in the velvet series is a musical gift box in the form of a chair with a crescent back. Music plays when the seat, with a mirror on the downside, is pulled up. "This range is especially popular in Europe, Australia and Japan," Wong says, revealing that the main structure is cardboard sourced from Indonesia.
A minimum order is 1,000 units, and assorted designs are allowed, while delivery is 30-45 days after confirmation. "We have designers in Hong Kong and Europe," Wong says, noting that the firm's Artech brand sells mostly to Europe, Japan, and Australia and, to a lesser extent, the US and the Middle East. "We want to expand our US sales," Wong declares.
Established in 1991, Artech's head office is in Hong Kong, while there are representative offices in the UK and Germany. Production takes place at the firm's factory on a 300,000-square-foot site in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
Complete with 600 workers, the facility is ISO 9001-certified and adheres to the Japanese 5S management standard. "We design our own lines and accept OEM orders," Wong says.
For more mass-market appeal, Fuzhou Lulu Art Crafts Co Ltd offers a series of hexagonal floral-themed paper gift boxes sporting a riot of cheerful colours: light green, orange, pink and pastel blue. "This is our garden collection," says manager Jocelyn Chou.
A stamping technique is applied so that the background colours are light and uneven rather than solid to give a greater sense of vitality. "The main structure and leaves are made from cardboard, while the flowers are fabric," she adds, noting that, depending on the size, unit prices range between US$1.70 and US$3.80 FOB Fuzhou.
Another collection features cardboard wrapped in fabric and displaying various messages. A rectangular series comprises a large box and three smaller ones that fit inside. Bedecked with hearts and flowers, the boxes are emblazoned with the words Love, Peace and Hope. The price is US$8 per set.
Another rectangular box depicts a girl and a flower, and carries the message that love is the greatest gift of all. The unit price is US$4.60. There is also a round gift box with similar design, plus a handle that allows it to double as a handbag, that sells for US$2.90. The raw materials are sourced on the Chinese mainland.
A minimum order is 300-600 units depending on the item. "Europe accounts for half of our sales, while we also export to Japan and the US," says Chou. "We plan to increase our US sales."
Production reaches 500,000 to one million gift boxes worth about US$1m annually at the firm's 5,000-square-metre, 150/200-worker plant in Fuzhou. OEM orders are accepted in addition to own-design gift boxes sold under the Lulu brand. "We sell to importers and wholesalers," Chou remarks.
With such an extensive array of gift boxes on the global market, buyers are simply spoilt for choice.
WRITTEN BY CARRIE LEE
Unit 906, Vanta Ind Centre
21-33 Tai Lin Pai Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Daily Treasure Industrial Ltd
Rm 5B, West Gate Tower
7 Wing Hong St, Lai Chi Kok
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Fuzhou Lulu Arts Crafts Co Ltd
2/F, Bldg No.15, Taijiang District
Jingshan Ind Area, Fuzhou, Fujian
Prima Collective (Thailand) Co Ltd
100/85 M 14 Ramintra 67 Rd
Kannayao, Bangkok 10230, Thailand