12 April 2019
Home front prospers
Home is where the heart is and often where the wallet is as well; spending on furniture, homeware and related items is soaring, with Mainland China growing especially strongly. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is offering four fairs catering for the sector in the second half of April. The HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair and HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair will be held from 20 to 23 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). They will be followed on 27-30 April by the HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, also held at the HKCEC, and the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair, jointly organised with CIEC Exhibition Co (HK) Ltd and held at AsiaWorld-Expo.
Research institute Statista reports that global revenue in the furniture and homeware segment is expected to top US$226.5 billion in 2019, with a projected annual growth rate of 10.6% until 2023. The global figure is expected to climb to US$338.3 billion by 2023, with the mainland becoming the largest market, generating approximately US$78.7 billion. Hong Kong’s exports of houseware products reached HK$351.1 billion in 2018, up 24% on the previous year, with the United States, the mainland and Japan continuing to be the city’s largest export markets. In the gifts and premiums segment, Hong Kong’s exports were HK$161.2 billion in 2018, up 6% on the previous year.
Top show in Asia
Asia’s leading show of its kind, the Houseware Fair will feature 2,160 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions this year, while the concurrent Home Textiles Fair will bring together about 310 exhibitors from seven countries and regions. At the Gifts & Premium Fair, the world’s largest event of its kind, a record 4,380 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions will attend. The Printing & Packaging Fair, held in parallel with the Gifts & Premium Fair, will welcome nearly 500 exhibitors from six countries and regions. In addition, the HKTDC will organise 300 buying missions, comprising more than 14,600 companies from around the world, to visit the fairs. The four fairs will offer an ideal trading platform for industry professionals looking to expand their footprint in the mainland and global markets.
Innovations go global
Innovation and technology (I&T) is a cornerstone of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, and nurturing start-ups is an integral part of the process. Startup Zones have become an important element of the HKTDC’s fairs.
“The power of Asian start-ups should not be underestimated. Start-ups in Hong Kong have blossomed over the past two years,” HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said. “With an aim to promote entrepreneurial innovation and the sustained development of corporations, the HKTDC will continue to support start-ups and set up Startup Zones at nine of its large-scale events, including this year’s Houseware Fair and Gifts & Premium Fair.” During the two fairs, the HKTDC will organise multiple “Startup • Smart Launch” sessions where start-ups can introduce their business concepts and products to industry professionals.
This year’s Houseware Fair will see 28 start-ups from Hong Kong, the mainland, Indonesia and the Philippines. They include Hong Kong’s SPACEPLAN, an online platform that provides one-stop interior design solutions and encourages local interior designers and young designers to launch their own businesses. At the Gifts & Premium Fair, 34 start-ups from Hong Kong, the mainland, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Netherlands and Taiwan will be on site. One Taiwanese start-up, Muherz, will introduce its Cubiio Portable Laser Engraver (main picture), which is said to be the most compact device of its type that can be controlled by an app.
Smart, stylish solutions
At the Houseware Fair, a mainland exhibitor will present its KIGI Food Storage Container, which comes with an app that reminds consumers of the use-by date of the food in the container and will even offer recipe suggestions based on the packed ingredient. A Hong Kong exhibitor, meanwhile, will showcase its SmartBowl for pets, which enables owners to keep track of their pets’ daily calorie consumption. At a 23 April seminar, speakers from IKEA and Euromonitor International will share their insights on trends and developments in smart and eco living.
L.I.F.E. - affirming products
The Houseware Fair will continue to adopt the main theme of L.I.F.E. – “Lifestyle”, “Interior”, “Feast” and “Enrich”. “Lifestyle” will cover exquisite dining, home decor and eco-friendly houseware products. “Interior” refers to elegant interior designs, and will see the debut of a Candles and Scenes zone. An array of cooking and dining tools will be featured under the “Feast” theme, while “Enrich” will spotlight such quality-of-life-enhancing products as pet supplies, baby products, gardening supplies and beauty and healthcare products.
To highlight the four themes, the HKTDC has teamed up with forecasting authority WGSN to set up an on-site display featuring new concepts and highlighting key lifestyle and interior trends for spring/summer 2020. WGSN will also host a seminar to examine the upcoming colours, fabrics, shapes and moods.
Quality Asian products
Multiple pavilions will dot the fairground of the Home Textiles Fair, including those presented by three of India’s largest chambers of commerce for the textiles industry − the Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC), Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) and the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC). The pavilions will be dedicated to showcasing fine home textiles products from across South Asia. In addition, Zhejiang, one of the mainland’s major home-textile manufacturing bases, will present two pavilions to display Zhejiang’s traditional quality bedding products provided by companies from the town of Zhouquan and Pujiang county. A total of seven thematic zones will be featured at the fair, including the Hall of Glamour, Bathroom & Kitchen Textiles, and Baby & Bedroom Textiles.
Beauty, Fitness and Well-being
The world’s largest Gifts & Premium Fair will see the World of Beauty, Fitness & Well-being zone make its debut. The zone will feature nearly 40 exhibitors from the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, India and New Zealand showcasing cosmetics, skincare, health and spa products. The Hall of Fine Designs will display more than 140 brands from around the world, including Team Green, a Hong Kong brand that specialises in eco-friendly three-dimensional (3D) puzzles; Kokuyo, a revered Japanese stationery brand; and Pininfarina, an Italian brand known for its creative stationery. In addition, the Hong Kong Exporters' Association, the co-organiser of the fair, will present a pavilion with three zones − Isle of Originality, Brand Oasis and Smart Design HK − featuring more than 170 quality Hong Kong gift exporters. Other pavilions include those from the mainland, Taiwan, India, Korea, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Multiple seminars will cover topics such as new retail trends in the US and the mainland, and data-driven brand-building strategies.
Eco-friendly products and new materials
Held at AsiaWorld-Expo, this year’s Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair will feature four major thematic zones − De Luxe, Green Printing & Packaging Solutions, Printing & Packaging Solutions for Fashion & Accessories, and Innovative Retail Display Solutions. The event will also mark the debut of the World of Advertising and Signs zone dedicated to showcasing creative visual communication and promotion approaches. An exhibitor, Hong Kong Media By Phone Co, will showcase its Droptix display panel, which can enhance displays, packaging, posters and point-of-sale items with an eye-catching 3D effect.
The emphasis on corporate social responsibility in recent years has spawned an assortment of eco-friendly materials. Taiwanese exhibitor Haurtyi Paper Bag Co Ltd will display its Stone Paper Bag made using a new mineral powder that is more environmentally friendly than traditional paper.
A series of seminars will also be organised during the Printing & Packaging Fair, including sessions entitled “Embrace Opportunities in Greater Bay Area: Certification and Training Services in Hong Kong’s Graphic Arts Industries” and “New Development and Application of Wide Gamut Colour Printing”.