Enterprise Vol 1, 2010: Product Feature: Printing & Paper Products
ASIAN MANUFACTURES GIVE PAPER AND PRINTING PRODUCTS A CONTEMPORARY TWIST THAT IMPRESSES CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE
Blending visual appeal with usefulness is the success formula for paper and printing products, as attested by Greater China manufacturers with offerings that are invariably attractive, sturdy yet functional.
A good example is a flower-patterned bag emblazoned with the word “love” from True Color Development (HK) Ltd. The 27x19x8.5cm item features a hook-and-loop fastener on the inside below its cut-out handle. “This bag is very popular in China,” claims Marketing Manager Ally Lin.
The firm’s gift bags come in many sizes, with the largest — 45.5x33x10cm — perfect for clothing or handbags and the smallest —14x11x6cm — ideal for jewellery or candy. Many of them have handles and/or decorative ribbons.
“Another hot seller is a set of six bows in assorted colours and prints. They are made from PP,” Ms Lin says.
Apart from gift bags and bows, True Color also specialises in wrapping paper, greeting cards and ribbons.
“We do paper products and anything that’s about gift packaging,” says Ms Lin. “They are for Christmas, weddings, birthdays, other special occasions or everyday use. They appeal to men, women, children and lovers — everyone really.”
The designs range from holiday themes to flowers, stars, swirls and other patterns. “Our fastest growing markets are in Asia, where maybe the economy looks a little more stable,” Ms Lin says.
The company considers paper products ecofriendly. “They’re easy to recycle,” she says. “Anyone with a plastic bag discards it, but attractive paper bags get reused.”
The Chinese mainland’s Ningbo Ariste Int’l Co Ltd operates in a different niche, offering decorative sticker sheets, hang-tags, albums and tools for embellishing scrapbooks, personalising greeting cards or doing other paper crafts.
“Scrapbooking is very popular in the US,” notes Sales Manager Rex Wang. “Scrapbooks can have many themes, such as marriage, baby, graduation, pets, sports or favourite entertainers. They look very nice.”
Consumers also decorate greeting cards and gift tags to make each one unique and personal, adds Mr Wang. “Many of our gift tags have strategic holes for ribbons, and many of our decorative sheets have flower images,” he points out.
An A4-sized decorative sheet made by the company costs about US$0.08 FOB Ningbo, while a two-sheet pack of hang-tags, enough to hang 34 paper-craft items, is unit-priced at approximately US$0.24.
Buyers looking for special-purpose paper bags and boxes will be delighted by the collection available from Hang Shing Label Printing Product Co Ltd of Hong Kong.
One favourite item is an unusual 20x11x8.5cm penholder-cum-calendar that will enhance any desk. The calendar consists of cubes lined up on a tray to display the day of the week, the month and the date. Unlike most calendars which are good for a year, this one lasts indefinitely. “You can use it forever, or at least a very long time,” says Sales Executive Eric Kwan. “Our clients consider it highly creative.” The item is unitpriced at US$2.56 FOB Hong Kong.
Another top seller is a 26x15x9cm broad-card tissue box covered by art paper that has a bottom hinge for loading and offers a choice of colours, such as blue, gold or brown. The latest models fold and flatten for easy storage, and are unit-priced at US$1.50.
Other boxes from the manufacturer are designed for gifts, accessories, watches or even wine. Some boxes have satin padding, ribbons or hotstamp logos.
The company combines different processes, including multi-colour letterpress printing, hot stamping, UV drying, embossing, lamination and die-cutting.
While also relying on advanced technology, Taiwanese design house and manufacturer Cherubic Hon Ltd finds itself having to compete with IT as well. The supplier strives to boost the popularity of its paper greeting cards and prevent them from being overshadowed by emailed greetings.
“You need a real reason to send a real greeting card,” says Sales Manager Rio Shih. “We add value by attaching a small gift to many cards. The gifts may be cute magnets, colourful bookmarks, play flowers, toy jewellery or large paper clips with cartoon-like ducks or other characters.”
Special holes in the cards keep the gifts in place. “They’re set into the cards,” Mr Shih says. “The gifts (usually plastic) are very light and don’t add much to postage.”
Immediately, the notion stirred interest, especially among German and Italian buyers. “Some 90% of our business comes from Europe,” he says. “We’re looking for partners in Canada, the US and elsewhere.”
The basic cards, mainly for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween or other special occasions, have a unit cost of US$0.20 FOB Hong Kong. Those with gifts attached cost slightly more.
“We hope to keep developing new items that create more fun,” Mr Shih says. “We also try to help customers to keep their costs down. If they don’t have their own artwork, they can try our greeting cards. But many customers have their own ideas for greeting cards and what gifts to attach. Either way, we can help.”
Continuously perfecting their craft ensures Greater China manufacturers always roll out sure-fire sellers, to the delight of both trade buyers and end-users.
Text by John Cairns Photography by Ching Yuen Wah
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