A.S. Watson Group Launches Hong Kong-made Own Brand Face Masks

Watsons Water Plant is Converted for Mask Production Automated Production in Dust-Free Clean Room

In response to the unstable global supply of hygienic face masks, A.S. Watson Group announced today its experienced distilled water and beverage manufacturing business, A.S. Watson Industries, has transformed part of its factory into dust-free clean room for producing own brand face masks in Hong Kong. The first batch of masks will be available at Watsons Hong Kong online and physical stores from mid-May.

Serve Hong Kong People with Rich Manufacturing Experience
A.S. Watson Group has a long heritage of taking care of Hong Kong people’s health and responding to changing needs in times of difficulty. Over a century ago, when Hong Kong had a major problem due to the outbreak of plague and people falling ill didn’t have clean and safe water to take medicine, the Group has begun producing pure distilled water since 1903. Watsons Water, as we still know it today, has become an essential source of safe and reliable drinking water.

When the COVID-19 first started, A.S. Watson Group worked tirelessly to source face masks from all around the world but, faced with huge demand and limited supply, we decided the best way ahead was to develop a local production line for masks here in Hong Kong. Since March, that has set in motion around-the-clock efforts by 20 engineers to renovate part of the Watsons Water’s plant in Tai Po, in just one month, turning it into a dust-free clean room (meeting ISO 14644-1 CLASS 8 standards) where top-quality hygienic face masks could be manufactured. The factory is operating six automated production lines, and factory staff work around the clock to produce the masks. To maintain the hygiene and safety conditions of the production line, the plant will be closed one day a week for UV light disinfection.

Certified, High-Quality Masks with Individual Packaging
Individually packed, the own brand face mask uses a three-layer protective filter design with a soft fabric inner layer, filtering bacteria and small particles with its SGS certified Bacterial and Particle Filtration Efficiency (BFE & PFE) equal or over 99%. Application for the certification of ASTM Level 1 & 2 has also been submitted.

Michelle Chan, Managing Director of A.S. Watson Industries said, “As a well-known brand in Hong Kong, Watsons Water is striving to care for everyone in Hong Kong, protecting our customers and the environment, and serving our community. We are delighted to apply our manufacturing expertise to help the community at this difficult time.”

Chan said boxes of masks would have the words “Care For U” printed on them to cheer up for Hong Kong citizens, “Our rich manufacturing knowledge and persistence in maintaining the highest levels of product quality mean we can provide a steady supply of hygienic masks to Hong Kong people and win the battle against COVID-19 all together as a whole.”

Available at Watsons from mid-May and Exclusive Privilege for MoneyBack Members
The Group plans to gradually increase production to 10 million masks per month. The first batch of masks will be available at Watsons Hong Kong online and physical stores from mid-May. Watsons Own Brand face mask “WatsMask WeCare” will be sold in boxes of 30 (175 x 95mm), which will retail for HK$79.9, with an exclusive price of HK$69.9 for MoneyBack members.

Caring for Hong Kong, Fighting Together Against COVID-19
A.S. Watson Group’s focus on care in the community stems from its early days, when as a single small dispensary, it provided free medicine to the needy. That spirit of caring is now at the heart of the Group’s corporate social responsibility programme, which covers employees, customers and the community. In February, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Group donated 150,000 face masks to elderly people and beneficiaries in Hong Kong via social welfare organisations.

Samuel Lee, Managing Director of Watsons Hong Kong, said, “Watsons’ love and care for Hong Kong people remains strong. Every year, the Group adopts a theme to inspire colleagues, and 2020 is the ‘Year of Love’. We care deeply about our customers’ current concerns and understand the urgent demand for products that help protect them against the pandemic, so we are pleased to offer the own brand face mask as a hygienic product that they can trust.”

Michelle Chan added, “As a business that has grown with Hong Kong over the past 179 years, we are determined to stand with all Hong Kong citizens to overcome this challenge. We appreciate the help from CK Life Sciences, who quickly released the plant necessary to build the new production line. I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of the colleagues in the Group who have been working so hard in this complex project, from setting up the clean room, purchasing raw materials and production, to packaging, quality control, Offline plus Online customer experiences to delivery. By manufacturing much-needed hygienic face masks, we hope to protect the health of our customers as well as putting a smile on their faces amid the unprecedented challenge in history.”