Debenhams, high street store, has reported that frying pans big enough to hold just one egg, small plates for just one slice of toast, and tea pots, which only hold one cup of tea are now some of the fastest selling items in cookware. The 140% sales increase is being attributed to the fact that more people than ever before are living alone*. So great is the trend that Debenhams has extended its single serve cookware offering and predict that it may create a new movement in cooking.
Steve Lightfoot, trading director for Home at Debenhams said: “Some of these pots and pans are so small that they wouldn’t look out of place in a doll’s house. Our sales figures show that people are not only cooking simple meals for one but preparing increasingly smaller servings – Never mind beans on toast, these dishes are so small that it’s more likely to be bean on toast.”
As recently as 30 years ago, sales of such small singleton cook and dinnerware would have been virtually unheard of. Big, durable, family-sized dishes, plates and pans were the top sellers, with all cookware designed to hold enough food for at least four people, with many dishes able to cater for six, eight and sometimes ten guests. But a pivotal point was reached in 1996 when formal, large scale dinner parties were falling out of fashion after Black Wednesday.
The move away from super-sized cookware continued with invitations to trendy but simpler ‘suppers’ becoming common across the UK. Since then family birth rates and a greater number of women preferring to carve out successful careers rather than carve the Sunday roast have accelerated the trend.
Figures showing that more people are now living on their own for longer before getting married, a rising divorce rate, and an increase in the number of people who never marry at all, support the current boom in mini cookware.