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Trolley cooler bags: Selections diversify as buying patterns evolve

To provide wider design options, makers are introducing printed fabrics, smaller constructions and specialized compartments.

China suppliers of picnic bags and trolleys are pursuing various design-oriented upgrades to keep sales healthy amid changes in clients' sourcing habits.

With effects of the economic crisis lingering, recent months have seen variety take precedence over quantity. Now most requisitions consist of multiple styles, with buyers stipulating fewer pieces than they normally did for a single design to minimize risk. In the past, purchases were usually made in bulk and involved only one or two types.

Trolley cooler bag
  The CA0788 model from Xiamen Good Forever is made of 600d polyester with food-grade aluminum foil lining.
To provide customers with diverse options, appearance-wise, many suppliers are incorporating printed fabrics in certain sections of the bag. Multicolor floral, striped and polka-dot patterns are particularly popular, as these lend a fun and fashionable feel to the line.

Polyester and nylon ripstop are usually adopted for a textured look, although companies can shift to enamel-coated PU leather if clients prefer a smoother surface finish.

Makers are also updating their selections via compact constructions.

Xiamen Tawa Enterprise Co. Ltd, for instance, has rolled out models in a size and style similar to that of pocket organizers. Available in two- or three-fold variants, products feature slots for cutlery, salt and pepper shakers and a cutting board. Holders for plates, napkins and a bottle opener can be integrated as well. While there are no food storage compartments, the designs are small enough to be stored inside standard picnic backpacks.

Other downsizing endeavors are being carried out in response to the trend for children's models. Releases targeting this age group have a food storage capacity of 3 to 6L and can hold utensils for one or two persons. Carry and tote bag styles are available.

Efforts to cater to specialized applications, meanwhile, revolve around changes in the layout of interior compartments.

Wine backpacks are typically designed with separate sections for the bottles, glasses, corkscrew and bottle stopper. Coffee set versions have holders for a vacuum flask and two or more mugs.

For its barbeque bags, Xiamen Good Forever Industrial Co. Ltd added divisions for a clamp, turner and skewer.

Another design development involves the integration of an AM/FM radio, input jacks for CD or MP3 players and loudspeaker in the front pocket of backpacks, trolleys and shoulder bags. Some releases are even fitted with a solar panel that powers a built-in charging outlet for small electronic devices.

To support aforementioned initiatives, companies are actively investing in product development. A portion of the allocation is spent on design software such as AutoCAD and Photoshop, which enable suppliers to reduce lead time.

The industry ships primarily to large distributors, supermarkets and gift shops. The EU, North America and Australia are the key destinations.

Products & prices
Products & prices

China offers shoulder, carry, tote and sling bags, foldable containers, backpacks and trolleys for storing food and other picnic supplies.

The exterior is usually made of polyester or nylon oxford, although fleece, microfiber and synthetic leather variants are also used. For tear and abrasion resistance, suppliers employ ripstop versions.

The standard density of the shell fabric is 600d. The adoption of 1200 and 1680d variants is limited to the high end.

For the interior, 210d polyester, PEVA and aluminum foil have become the top material options, with PVC now being phased out. To ensure safety, the lining is certified to FDA and LFGB standards.

Models with a storage capacity of 3 to 15L are considered small. Midsize designs range between 16 and 30L, while larger versions reach up to 41L.

Products are often bundled with picnic accessories for two or four people. Cutlery sets, plates and drinking vessels are the normal inclusions. Other common add-ons are salt and pepper shakers, cutting boards, napkins and bottle openers. Some models even come with mats and vacuum flasks.

China-made picnic bags are priced from $4 to $25, depending mainly on the capacity rating and variety of accessories.

After a 10 percent adjustment in September 2009, quotes are expected to increase an additional 5 percent in the months ahead.

Suppliers attribute this upward movement to higher production expenses. Zipper costs, for instance, climbed 5 percent during the second half of last year. Annual spending on standards certification, including that for FDA and LFGB compliance, jumped an estimated 30 percent.

Makers typically carry out fabric sewing, printing and other key production processes in-house. QC measures include material safety, density, colorfastness and pull tests, online checks and final random inspection.

Picnic bags are available mostly from Xiamen in Fujian province. The city accounts for more than 80 percent of output and exports in the line. Small businesses, which have fewer than 500 employees, represent 60 percent of the local industry.

This article "Trolley cooler bags: Selections diversify as buying patterns evolve" is originally posted in Global Sources.

Note: 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.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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