4 Sept 2008
Boxing Success(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2008)
Products often prosper as much for their exquisite paper box packaging as for their features
The appealing assortment of paper boxes available from Hong Kong manufacturers look certain sales boosters regardless of their contents.
Extra-appealing boxes, for example, are made by A.F. Offset Printing Co Ltd using special techniques, including flocking, silk-screen glitter printing, silver or gold foil stamping, laser effects and scent printing.
"Scent printing is a new technique that uses special inks to give the boxes a pleasing smell, like chocolate, coffee, flowers or perfumes - maybe matching the planned contents," explains Sales Manager Lucas Lo. "If customers wish, they can provide their own perfumes that we'll make into an ink and print onto the boxes."
The company's best sellers include a dark-red 20x20x5cm box with a floral motif. "We use flocking to elevate the decorative flowers, giving them a soft feel," Mr Lo advises. "Inside, a golden-paper tray can hold chocolates."
He notes that the firm's higher-class packaging goes mainly to Europe. "Once, our customers wanted simple boxes - now they must fight hard in their markets and so they order sophisticated packaging."
A.F. Offset Printing can offer advice on packaging solutions, Mr Lo says. "Potential customers can send us enquiries - even if they're unsure what kind of boxes they'll want, we'll gladly advise them."
Eating well is a pleasure in life, as Avant Packaging Co well knows. "Mostly, we make packaging for food, like takeaway sandwich boxes and cake boxes," explains Sales Manager Shirlie Cho.
Among the firm's popular offerings is a corrugated cake box with a fold-up handle. "Although costlier than simple cardboard, the corrugated material supports heavier cakes," Ms Cho advises.
Typically, each box holds a complete cake measuring 8-12 inches, but smaller takeaway boxes, often 11x11x11cm, shelter single pieces of cake or other treats.
"We have lots of experience in using food-grade materials, meaning those certified safe for contact with food," Ms Cho claims. "The boxes are deemed single-use and disposable, and they biodegrade within a few years."
Avant Packaging's leading markets include the US, the UK, Germany and Australia. "Our sales are increasing," Ms Cho advises. "Cooking classes are now popular in many countries and people who make cakes like carrying them to parties or meetings, which calls for boxes."
No fine meal is complete without wine, and TACT Group Ltd supplies two matching elegant boxes with a blue, white and yellow pattern for safe handling of delicate glasses. "One holds one wine glass, while the other cradles six," says Managing Director Richard Ho. "Both allow convenient display and easy carrying."
This category nevertheless constitutes only a small part of the company's numerous creations, which are designed for toys, electronics, household products, porcelain, food or other items.
"They range from tiny 2x2-inch boxes for jewellery all the way up to huge models for the likes of outdoor fountains," Mr Ho explains.
He highlights the protection feature of the company's offerings. "We've used reliable box-construction techniques for more than 10 years," Mr Ho says, adding that strong paper materials are used. "Many of our boxes feature convenient windows that allow you to see and touch the products inside."
Producing more than 5,000 SKUs of packaging items each year, TACT aims to sell worldwide, with major markets the US and Europe.
"We create our designs based on both market trends and local cultures," Mr Ho explains. "Buyers in the US, for example, tend to like more graphic designs while those in Germany prefer elegant rather than colourful packaging."
Meanwhile, special software devised by the firm speeds the exchange of artwork and designs with far-flung customers.
TACT operates a workshop in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland that specialises in artwork, colour separations, proofing, dummy boxes and digital printing.
"We keep a list of more than 300 printers and always know which one is perfect for each job," Mr Ho says, adding the firm also runs offices in Canada and the UK.
"Our management team travels a lot to meet with customers and discuss their requirements while exploring markets."
Boxing success has never been easier when merchandise is packed inside eye-catching, elegant and durable paper boxes from Hong Kong.