Analytical Over View of the Hong Kong : Lee Kum Kee

Table of Content


The purpose of this report is to take an analytical over view of the Hong Kong based company known as Lee Kum Kee. This report will analyze their mission, vision, strengths weaknesses and opportunities that they are experiencing currently and also that they may face in future. The format of this paper will be such that it will start with a brief summary of the organization profile, followed by an analysis of its strategies goals and vision of the future. Then the report will carry out a SWOT analysis that will analyze the key elements already mentioned above. The report will also talk about the number of quality assurance awards and certificates that the company has earned through its operation since 1988.

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Company Profile Summary

            Lee Kum Kee was founded by Mr. Lee Kam Sheung in 1988 in Hong Kong and it serves the entire China and also many different parts of the world as a food company today. The primary product of the company is also named as Lee Kum Kee which is a well known brand in the category of sauces and condiments thought china and many different parts of the world as it is used in many Chinese dishes and food items and is produced on pure/ Original Chinese recipe. The company was founded by manufacturing Oyster sauce at first and up till date, the company produces a variety of over 200 different sauces and condiments. The company has always been a family run business and is currently chaired by the M.T Lee and is headed by K.S.Lee, the chairman’s grandson. On every product of the company, the company mentions specifically that it is a Hong Kong brand in order to emphasize the fact that it has strong affiliations with its home land according to the Chinese culture. Moreover, the fact that Hong Kong is becoming one of the most known and important geographic locations on the world map today with respect to economy and products, the company mentions its product originating from Hong Kong in order to clarify that the product is from the country that is thriving and is heading towards the global economic scenario as a market leader (Kee, 2008).

Company Profile

            The mission of the company is to stick to its core values of Pragmatism, integrity and constant entrepreneurship. This means that the company has always shown practicality in its management and operations by producing the goods and services that can be easily supplied in the market, practically produced with quality under the ambit of high quality assurance and producing a product that is widely used in world kitchens today. By integrity, the company emphasizes that it will be producing products without compromising anything on its quality standards and with the original recipe that is followed in china traditionally . The oyster sauce that was first marketed in 1888 is still manufactured on the same recipe as it was manufactured then which bolsters and supports the companies argument of integrity, because, the company has not compromised on its quality or recipe, rather it has brought in many technological advancements in its manufacturing process that has made the manufacturing easier. Lastly when we see at constant entrepreneurship, the company is a family owned business as we have already discussed before and the company assures that it will be headed by its family members for all the years to come to provide quality goods to the consumers (Kee, 2005). The profitability of the company also suggests that there is no reason for the operations of the company to shut down because of so much success in both the local and international market. Serving one of the most densely populated populations of Chinese market, there is no chance that the company will ever lose its demand.

            The vision of the company is absolutely in accordance with its core values and the company sees itself as a market leader that will promote Chinese recopies and products in the global markets and will ensure that these products are of the quality standards that no other company can ever meet.


            As we have talked much about the company’s quality control in our previous discussions, we can see that the company biggest strength is the quality assurance that it offers to its customers globally. The company has earned ISO9002 quality assurance which certifies that the company does not compromise its quality standards in all respects. As we will discuss in the quality awards section of the report at the end we will also see that the company has also earned best Asian food brand awards from many sources including The Reader’s Digest award for most preferred and liked brands in sauce manufacturing today. Apart from the strengths that are directly related to quality, the company is also a true market leader in all respects from market share to customer satisfaction. (Kee, 2008).

            The products that the company produces are mostly related to Chinese foods and we can see that the demand for Chinese dishes all over the world is quite huge as many people like to go out and dine in a restaurant that provides Chinese food. Moreover, the local demand of the company is also so huge due to the population size that the company may not have any problems relating to its demand.


                        One of the weaknesses that the company has been exposed with is the fact that was proved by European laboratories. These European Laboratories proved that one of the sauces that are produced by the Lee Kum Kee has some content in them that deems the safety of its consumers and thus banned the product in the EU as per their policy. This happened in 2001 when EU singled out brands with known carcinogens. This relates to a catalyst protein that allows speedy processing in the manufacturing phase of some of the products that are produced by the company. Although, the company started filtering out the hazardous content, still there is a controversy that the hazardous protein content in the products of the company can be passed on to new born children even if they have not consumed the product themselves (summers, 2008).


            As the company has explored every bit of its local market, the global arena still serves as an open sea for sailing for the company. The company has a portfolio of 200 different sauces that it has to market all over the world. Currently it has three major production plants located in CHINA, AUSTRALIA and USA. Thus the company can expand its manufacturing to other geographical areas and also the EU in order to start producing its products with their own specifications and standards to regain its market share which is not difficult for the company due to the fact that it has a strong customer base and loyalties in EU today as well (Vasconcellos, 2003)..

            Moreover, new products is always an opportunity for the company and the more the company comes up with new products, the more it has room to market in both local and foreign markets (Sinha & willborn, 1998).


            As far as the threats are concerned, the company’s major threats are the new entrants in the market which are somehow decreasing the company’s market share. It is not that the company is weak and is losing its market share, but when many more manufacturers will see the opportunity in the overall growing demand of Chinese products, more and more will enter both the local and global markets (Webber & Wellace, 2007). Thus as more people enter, they will somehow attract market share to themselves, and an ASIAN saying says that when many drops come together, it becomes a river, thus we can see how much market share the company can lose. Also the threats of unhealthy catalyst used in the manufacturing process will always be therefore any global laboratory to discover one (Hoyle, 2007).

Quality Awards

            Following are the awards that the company has earned so far.

1.      1994 Hong Kong Industry Department Quality Award

2.      Hong Kong Q-Mark for Quality Product

3.      HKQAA – ISO 9002 : 1994 International Quality Accreditation Certificate No.: CC357

4.      BS EN ISO 9002: 1994 International Quality Accreditations Certificate No. FM31486

5.      1995 Hong Kong Awards for Industry : Export Marketing

6.      Lee Kum Kee Awarded Hong Kong Marketing Award

7.      No. 1 Food Brand in Asia

8.      Top 10 Favorite Brands

9.      Good Management Awards for Lee Kum Kee

10.  Lee Kum Kee received a Superband for 3 Consecutive Years

11.  “Good Corporate Citizen” Acknowledgement

12.  Gold SuperBrand

13.  Advanced Technology Enterprise

14.  China Well-known Trademark

15.  Supplier of the Year Award by Panda Restaurant Group (Kee, 2005).

Above are some of the brands that are self explanatory and show the performance of the company and its management. These awards have been won by the company several times, like the readers digest award, top ten companies award and the super brand award, however, they have been mentioned only once in this report.

Quality Management

If we look at quality management, the term quality might sound a bit subjective because it can be attributed to experience of the consumer from the product and the attributes they see in the product. For me, the experience of consuming the product can be relatively different from the reader and similarly I can bee looking for different features in the product then the reader. However, this does not mean that the product is of low quality , yet, a company, when launching a product should keep this into mind that the product must cater to the appeal of maximum customers and should not only be targeted for a few. Therefore Lee Kum Kee checks its product on the following criterion in order to have a general over view of the quality of their product. The theories will be explained after this general over view (Skrabec, 1999).

The company emphasizes that the taste of the products is same through out and homogeneous in every packing or lot that comes out of the production line so that the performance for the product in the market is similar.  Moreover, the features that the product offers to customers must also be same and according tot heir preference which will ensure that it is reliable to use and durable at the same time for example, it will not perish quickly and come out of the packet rotten. Serviceability also comes in the quality management of LKK because the company assumes responsibility for any sort of problem that the customer or the supplier of the company might face regarding the product. Maintaining the brand image is another factor that LKK checks continuously because of the fact that it does also influence the quality perception of the consumers about the brand. This approach is also known as the Garvin’s multi dimensional approach.

In order to provide maximum value to the customer, the company also emphasizes to use the concepts of value addition through out the production process. Addition of services and features that the customers values, for example flavors, does values to the customers, however, those activities which the customers might not appreciate or would not value to the customers are eliminated from the product because if not adding value, they are acting as a factor of de-value because they take up room for further value addition.

According to many texts and theories, the CEOs of the company must be involved in the quality management and improvement and therefore we have seen, that as early as the company came into existence, CEOs since then have deployed the policy of continuous improvement in the process system and consequently the quality of the product. According to the CEO it is not the fault of the labor that might cause quality mis-haps most of the time, however, it is the flaw in the system that is to be checked in order to eliminate the inefficiency in the system and bring improvement in the system (Mehta, 2004).

LKK is an ISO certified company and in order to maintain its license and be eligible for further improvements, the company has to be prepared at all times for all sorts of routine check ups by the testing authorities. Thus the company has to abide by all the rules and regulation that are set forth by the certification authorities in terms of cleanliness, environment friendliness, corporate social responsibility, proper supplies, packing, expiries, everything that is idol for a customer and the society on the whole should be taken care of for these global licenses. These global licenses are actually the key for a company like LKK to penetrate into foreign markets to show them that yes this company does fulfill all the requirements of the highest quality certification around the globe.

In order to cultivate the habit of giving out the maximum quality output in the labor and employees, the companies’ management has adopted a very simple but very effective methodology for this purpose. Every employee has been asked to rate himself on a rate sheet I order to rate his performance on a certain task. This exercise checks all the shortcomings on behalf of machine and the employee himself because the employee is now a quality inspector himself. This ensures quality insurance from the lowest to the top level of production line.

The quality of production is also checked by the organization by reducing their wastes. These wastes are checked in terms of wastes of overproduction, wastes of waiting in production process, wastes in transportation of products, wastes of stocks, wastes of motion and wastes of making defective products.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The company has done very well in the last many decades and is still looking towards even a brighter future; however, the company must stick to its constant entrepreneurship vision which will enable to come up with new products according to the needs of the consumers. This will enable the company to open new markets for itself and stay ahead of the competitors in all respects. Plus the quality assurance that the company has always promised its customers must be carried forward by the company for the future as well because the global community is getting stricter and concerned about their health and quality issues.


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