Makers are offering more add-ons, styles and colors for the line.
China-made picnic bags and trolleys for specific applications will come in greater number and variety in the months ahead. Encouraged by the strong sales performance of outdoor and leisure products in 2010, suppliers are expanding selections to stimulate further market interest this year.
Greater functionality and visual appeal top R&D priorities for specialized designs. Affordability is also a key consideration, with rising manufacturing outlay already putting pressure on costs and prices.
Addressing these, many companies are offering detachable coolers as an option for wine and cheese picnic sets. These are in hues matching or complementing those of the tote, backpack, trolley or basket.
For coffee drinkers, vacuum flasks can be included in the package. Double-walled insulated mugs may replace cups.
In high-end designs, AM/FM radios and solar-powered chargers are popular options. CD and MP3 players can be provided as well.
Some enterprises are offering a larger storage capacity for food and drinks without changing the bag size. In such designs, the inner compartment for cutlery, mugs and other dinnerware is in a threefold construction, leaving 50 percent more space for other picnic supplies.
To save on production costs and keep prices competitive, suppliers are choosing fabrics with simple geometric patterns such as dots or stripes to create visually appealing exteriors. These are less expensive than those with complex prints, which typically employ more than four colors.
Several makers are bringing spending down further by adopting two or more materials in solid hues to create contrast.
For spoons, forks and other flatware, plastic is being adopted for the handles instead of wood or the costlier stainless steel.
Releases target both overseas and domestic markets. Export growth is expected to reach 30 percent this year, while sales in the home front are forecast to increase 30 to 50 percent.
Products & prices
Chinaâs picnic bag selection consists of fabric and wicker types, with the former accounting for 75 to 85 percent of production.
In the first category, the common styles are shoulder, carry and tote bags, backpacks and trolleys. Models have a storage capacity ranging from 3 to 42L.
Designs have dyed or printed exteriors made of canvas, ripstop or oxford, which vary from 300 to 1680d. For thermal insulation, PE, PEVA or aluminum foil is used together with foam padding.
Products are typically bundled with tableware for two or four people. Standard dining accessories include drinkware, plates, napkins, forks, spoons and knives. Several variants also contain a bottle opener, cutting board, and salt- and pepper shakers.
Picnic bags that can carry no more than 15L are offered between $3 and $6. Such designs have exteriors in 300 or 600d polyester oxford, while the lining is in polyester or PEVA. These typically come with stainless steel and plastic cutlery for one or two people.
Upwards to $12, variants with a storage capacity of 16 to 30L are available. Models have 600d oxford or ripstop shells in polyester or nylon. For insulation, aluminum foil is an option.
Designs containing dinnerware for four are offered in this segment. Accessories such as picnic rugs and drink bottles can be included as well.
At the higher end of the price spectrum, the selection comprises a number of backpacks and trolleys. Models generally adopt 900 to 1680d oxford or ripstop, although there are some that use jacquard in the shell for texture.
A storage capacity of at least 30L is common. In terms of the tableware, the cutlery is made entirely of stainless steel instead of having plastic parts.
The typical add-ons include mats, and radios, CD players and speakers. Ice packs are also bundled with some designs.
For wicker carry bags and baskets, the selection comprises rattan and bamboo designs lined with polyester, cotton or T/C. Targeting the high end, these go for at least $20.
Most models have tableware for four. A set usually includes crystal wineglasses, ceramic mugs, printed cotton napkins, stainless steel flatware and a wooden cutting board.
Due to the higher manufacturing outlay, prices for picnic bags are expected to increase 5 to 15 percent this year.
According to interviewed suppliers, rates for printed fabrics rose by up to 50 percent in December from June 2010 levels. The materials were at $0.75 to $2.30 per meter in December.
The cost of polyester yarn, meanwhile, has been fluctuating. In November 2010, it peaked at $2,880 per ton then went down to the range of $2,340 to $2,710 in January. The material is estimated to go for $2,500 to $2,800 per ton in coming months.
Labor expenses are also putting pressure on quotes. Suppliers in key manufacturing centers are offering better salary packages to retain and attract personnel amid a persistent shortage of workers. In Zhejiang province, for instance, employees are receiving between $275 and$340 per month.
In Fujian province, where up to 50 percent of production is subcontracted or handled by part-time workers, makers are paying higher fees to ensure they meet delivery time.
Xiamen Tawa Enterprise Co. Ltd
Xiamen Tawa Enterprise Co. Ltd
Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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