4 Sept 2008
Shinning Examples(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2008)
A dazzling range of dainty, fancy and imaginative tin cans from Hong Kong invariably has consumers tingling with delight
Besides drawing attention to their contents, attractive tin cans have other useful functions, such as serving as home decorations or even collectibles in their own right.
Leading examples from Hong Kong include tins in the form of a truck (model 609) or handbag in different sizes (models D16 and D17) offered by Yee Hing Metal Fty.
"Designs such as the truck are popular because they're cute and because consumers can pack different things, such as candy and chocolates, into them," says Manager Canny Yan.
"Customers usually come to us with all sorts of designs and, unless we already have an existing mould that is suitable, we will create a new mould for them," she adds.
Other hot sellers from Hong Kong include the series of fancy tin cans with a Christmas theme offered by Tin Box Asia Pacific HK Ltd.
Among the options is the "stacking snowman tin" (model 973257), comprising three round tins of different sizes that stack up to become a snowman.
"These Christmas-theme tins are purpose-designed to become decorative items in addition to their storage function," says General Manager Eric Kwok.
The firm came up with the idea of a self-assembled snowman by simply putting together some existing designs. "The three tins that make up the snowman design are joined by rivets, yet can be detached and used separately," Mr Kwok advises.
The round base of the largest of the three tins measures 13.6cm in diameter, while the total height of the stacked cans is 25.6cm. "The snowman has a protruding, carrot-shaped nose made of plastic," notes Mr Kwok.
Another hit item from this manufacturer takes the shape of a Christmas tree complete with flashing lights, a feature made possible by drilling small holes in the cover and inserting LEDs into the holes.
"The lights can be switched on and off at the press of a button installed at the bottom right-hand corner of the tin cover," notes Mr Kwok. "The lights work on two cell batteries fixed under the cover and the power device is covered with a piece of plastic, so you don't actually see it."
As with most of the firm's tin cans, the two Christmas models cannot be washed or used in a microwave oven.
Tin Box Asia also makes tin cans in the shape of popular comics characters such as Spiderman, and holds tin can manufacturing licences for many cartoon characters in the US and Canada.
According to Mr Kwok, the company's tin cans also meet international requirements regarding lead content. "All the wet paint, coating and varnish we use conform to US and European standards," he assures.
Environmental and safety issues, alongside design and quality, are also the focus of Keenpack Industrial Ltd. Top sellers here include a set of four tin tea canisters that come in a rectangular tin box.
"These tins are certified and approved for direct contact with food by the FDA and European authorities and tea leaves can be packed directly into the tins without the need for a bag," claims Sales Manager Jerome Martin.
"The lids can be pulled open easily, and the canisters are airtight due to the way the lids are designed to fit into the body. There is no need for a mechanical device to lock the lids," he adds.
The canisters measure 69mm in diameter and 60mm in height, while the containing tin box measures 204mm in width, 160mm in length and 70mm in height.
Mr Martin notes that this item is popular as a collectible. "The idea is for the consumers to keep the box and the tins, and refill them with loose tea leaves whenever they make a new purchase," he says. "Our customers usually import tea from countries like India and China, and they pack their tea selection into the tins themselves."
Keenpack produces tin cans for many other purposes as well, including candle tins, candy tins, lunch boxes, coffee tins and cosmetic boxes.
Variety is also a forte of Chong Shing Tin Box Mfg Ltd, which offers embossed tin cans and cans with see-through covers.
"Our tin cans are normally used as packaging for all kinds of products, including pencils, stationery, games and biscuits," says Managing Director Eddy Yeung.
"We make tin cans based on designs provided by customers, and we emboss them with all sorts of shapes and logos," he advises. "We also have tin cans with PVC covers designed to provide a see-through window so that consumers know what is inside. These are used for watches, toys and games, among others, and come in colourful designs."
Clearly, pretty and imaginative tin cans from Hong Kong are shining examples of successful packaging.
Text By CHIARA WONG