In the early 60’s, the refugees fled from Mainland China, had brought with them their best abilities, for making a living. Among all those, a number of quite intelligent ladies, once been well off when they were still in China, came to work for those rich families in Hong Kong as domestic helpers.
The founder of Leader Brand was one of those rich families, had acquired one of such lady. During every Chinese New Year, and on the beginning of the first day, she made a deep fried snack, which always the best attraction to everyone, with a special meaning as a blessing for happiness to that coming year.
Later on, found out, every such lady was doing the same, with those other rich families. But, with a risk that she might make a mistake, a bad product would mean disaster to the family that she was working with. So, the founder started the production of the first item, immediately it hit success, as those Lady’s found a relief to such a task.
Because that was a limited production, and the founder was a rich person too, that was why; this item was another meaning for extravagance.
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It was the founder's wish to develop a technology to make this primary product into a snack item for and representing Hong Kong. Before he could carry on further, he died from a sudden death. But his successor, one of his sons, is carried on with all his unfinished dreams. Refinements are made after years of researches and developments. Since the primary product was vanished from Mainland China since 60’s, which makes this item belongs to Hong Kong only.
The main ingredient of this item is a tuberous produce call ‘Taro’, or potato of the tropic -- a stable food for many nations, an important diet for the religious vegetarians. The founder named it Taro Balls, in Chinese; it means to enjoy laughs together.
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As mystically as it seems, making Taro Balls need a woman’s touch, without it, the product will not be complete. Without the consistency of the founder's wife, this product will still in small scale, a homemade snack for kids in the family.
Each day, with the help of two assistances, she could produce at lease 10,000 Taro Balls within 9 hours or less, she could work for 15+ hours, with intervals for a short break in every 4 hours. Most stunning was, from the first to the 10,000+th ball, every one was same size, same shape and same taste, which was something a housewife, could not do in her kitchen. That was why, a consumer market for this product was created.
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In love of his pretty and intelligent wife, to relief her from such tiring work; the founder already designed a pilot plant for such a production. Was proving successful too, just because he had a one and only rival at large, a new factory was under construction for security purpose. Before everything was ready, he passed away.
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The founder's rival, one of his workers, a Chinese, made himself a company, was too happy to steal any know-how that was created by the founder, his former boss, who had just passed away, took that advantage with ease, while the sudden death in the family was still needing the consolidations.
After stole those snack technical know-how he needed and made a fortune, took the snack market off Leader Brand with cut-throat price war by surprise, with products created by the founder, which this person did not have to spend years of time and money for researches and developments.
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The rival’s son with the money his father made started another company, after acquired our improved technique for mass production for Taro Balls in a crispy way. Also, with cheap labours from China, He can mass produce and flood the market in the last two years, 2001 to the beginning of 2003, with a similar product in appearance, again, by inducing cutthroat price war.
Before, for the last 30 years, they produced their Taro Balls never were crispy enough, carried a mocking saying in the local market, (quote):‘it would not break even dropped onto the floor’, after with the technique stolen from us, it was completely otherwise. With technique stolen from us, his son could produce Taro Balls with the appearances similar to ours.
Although what he was producing now, could not be 100% the same as our Taro Balls, already, from that time on, they had no need to masquerade their packages, in making them to look like ours, In order to confuse our customers and stay in the mainstream Taro Ball retail market.
The market he and his father were used to was the low-priced market—a market not for quality.
The founder with his brand name created this mainstream retail market, which the special customers, who only went for better enjoyments, used to this type of extravagancy.
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There is a known fact; the one who becomes a master in counterfeiting, will lose the ability to create. For this reason, the past two years, from 2001 to the beginning of 2003, we left the market, wait and see what this rival can do with the stolen technique, let those retailers have enough time to try-out those counterfeit products in their shop, since they accepted and appreciated the cutthroat price war.
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Recently, several of these mainstream retailers came to us, complained that the selling price from our rival was shooting sky-high as soon as he took over the market. The worse still, received lots of complain from the customers, about the quality of those Taro Balls.
One of the respectable retailer said (and quote): “ For a total of two years, the selling price was raised higher than the peak market price, after they owned the market.”
Another mainstream retailer said (and quote):” They were successful with the mass production, because labours from china were invited by them, to come to Hong Kong for a few months in the peak season for Taro Balls ”.
Direct customer said (and quote):” Cannot enjoy the best with Taro Balls for the past two years.”.
In this way, these mainstream retailers invite us, to resume production.
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Since we had never been stopped in the research and development with Taro Balls, being invited to get back into the Taro Balls market, is giving another greater encouragement for all of us.
Our work will not cease, in carry on with the wish of our predecessor, the founder, to have Taro Balls as a snack item representing Hong Kong. Which he himself had no time to finish, due to his sudden death.
With those formulas he had created, a list of target ingredients with sets of instruction, made it possible to capture the exact taste preferences of the major local Hong Kong residents, with Chinese by different native origins.
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Out of the 37 different flavours we had formulated for Taro Balls, over ten were well accepted by our selected customers. Each flavour is receipted agreeably by a group of people, who either live closely with each other, or have a passion for each other because they have the same Chinese native origin.
Since in Hong Kong, lots of people are living together in separated areas, with similarity in eating habits and with the same Chinese native by origin.
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Whereas Chinese fled from the North, South, West boundary, East coastal line or the nearby islands of Mainland China, and resident in Hong Kong, the different eating habits become very complicated. Several outstanding eating habits virtually spreading all over the world, and merge with the dominant trend in many countries.
The findings in the different eating habits of the Chinese in Hong Kong, is giving support to our snacks and flavorings developments. We test and keep on testing our formulas for all the differences we had encountered. Thousands and thousands of taste testing were undertaken with selected customers, valuable refinements were made and tested again. Now, we can come to conclusion, that what we have to do is finished with Hong Kong. We announce success.
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While there is no such snack item as Taro Balls in the snack world, and Taro is having respect in over 20 countries, a dietetic habit for the vegetarianism, and with the improvements we did for Taro Balls, it well can be a future snack item for and represent any country.
We wish our invented technology for Taro Balls can be owned by a country, and produce the special type of Taro Balls representing that country too. Base on what we wish for, we only develop pilot production plants, to encourage limited production, in micro factory type of operation, not to be owned by Industrial type of enterprises.
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In some country, there are too many able persons, who have nothing to do, just because there is nothing for them to put their efforts in. If there is a national product, that they can work on, with a good supply of skills and technical back up, just concentrate with their efforts, which they are good at.
Numerous micro factory can be setting up, to put those unemployed people back to work, instead of stretch their hands, with shame in their heart, for their welfare co-ordinations.
A national item is always an attraction to tourism, the best with a product like Taro Balls, which is carrying a story, and with taste and flavours especially tailor-made for the tourists. People will come far just for that special gift package, which they have to come to the right place for it.
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When there is a market for Taro Balls, the micro factories has no worry for the earnings from their production, just keeping their eyes on the quality, which is safe-guarded by a national technical back ups. On the other hand, these special types of Taro Balls will create national incomes for the country, which is earned from sources such as export and from tourism.
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In order to see this works for a country, we offered our services to any country that are interested in what we are thinking of and working on, with a very reasonable price, please contact us for further information.
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