Firms snap up pricier hampers, which include bird's nest, abalone and collagen
This Chinese New Year, hamper sales are strong and customers are willing to spend more.
The new high? A $3,888 hamper, containing variations of bird's nest, as well as abalone, red wine, ginseng wine and essence of chicken. Five of the six companies we contacted are expecting better sales this year.
At Eden Cottage, which makes about 500 hampers every Chinese New Year, sales have gone up by 20 per cent from last year. Noel Gifts also expects an increase of 3 to 5 per cent this year.
NTUC Fairprice's purchasing and merchandising director Mui-Kok Kah Wei says the strong sales this year are due to "a more positive outlook on the economy for this year".
Ms Jess Chan, advertising and promotions manager at Noel Gifts, says: "Feedback from our sales teams shows people have bigger hamper budgets this year.
"Giving a hamper shows you appreciate your working relationship with the receiver. And when the economy is good, like this year's, people include more expensive items."
Catering to such demand, Eu Yan Sang Singapore, which sells traditional medicine products, introduced its $3,888 hamper this month. Among its items are two taels of Paradise bird's nest, bottles of Imperial Golden concentrated bird's nest, superior bird's nest with rock sugar and bird's nest with pearl powder and collagen. Sales figures were not available at press time.
Eden Cottage also introduced its priciest hamper - at $1,088 - this month.
Nine orders have been placed so far.
But even the "regular" hampers are flying off the shelves. Eu Yan Sang introduced a $98 and a $168 hamper this month and both are sold out. Eden Cottage has received 150 orders for its $68 hamper.
The companies observe that customers are very picky about the hamper items.
Ms Chan says: "Most customers will ask us to add an extra bottle of liquor or extra can of abalone or even more mandarin oranges. Some also ask for their company's hongbao or other corporate gifts to be included in the hamper."
Eu Yan Sang deputy general manager of sales Eraine Foo says that depending on the products selected, hampers can cost as much as $10,000.
"Customers can either pick products of their choice, or let our shop assistants customise the hamper in accordance to their budget."
Mr David Khoo, 52, managing director of a trade firm, has been buying hampers for his clients since his company started in 2000.
This year, he is buying 42 hampers, costing from $188 to $1,888 each, for his clients.
"Hampers are a good way to let others know that we remember them," he says.
Hampers for all budgets
Chinese New Year hamper, Eu Yan Sang
Long Ya Yan (bird's nest)
Paradise bird's nest
Imperial Golden concentrated bird's nest
Superior bird's nest with rock sugar
Bird's nest with pearl powder & collagen, reduced sugar
Special grade Australian abalone
Pu Er tea cake
American wild ginseng tea
Deluxe labels red wine
Imperial ginseng wine
Essence of chicken with American ginseng, cordyceps & huaishan extract
Herbal jelly - six flavours
Premium dried mushroom
Abundance hamper, Eden Cottage
Premium white imperial king nest
Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial champagne
Chateau Meyney Prieur de Meyney, St. Estephe, France 2006
Le Haut Medoc de Branaire Ducru, Huat Medoc, France 2008
Flametree Embers Semillon sauvignon blanc, Margaret River, Australia 2012
Skylight Australia abalone, scallop in mushroom sauce, claypot sharksfin soup
Premium big dried scallops, Japanese shitake mushroom
Max Fatt Choy
Eu Yan Sang bird's nest
Flourishing Beauty hamper, Noel Gifts
Royal imperial ginseng wine
Chateau Saint Barbe AOC Bordeaux Merlot
New Moon New Zealand Abalone
Skylight New Zealand superior abalone, Buddha Jumps Over The Wall
Dried shark's fin, oyster, abalone slice, shitake mushroom, scallop, fried fish maw, black fungus, fatt choy
Origins Chinese New Year hamper, NTUC Fairprice
Amico crispy rice flakes original
Amico crispy rice flakes seaweed
Ever Delicious yam cookies
Kacang hijau green peas
Mili lychee in heavy syrup
Mipo muruku mee
Origins golden raisins in gift box
Origins sunflower seeds in gift box
Tip Top honey jujube
Get The New Paper for more stories.