Snackers won't fork out for knives
It was once assumed that a knife and fork always went together - but research out today suggests the cutlery double act is being split up.
Sales figures released by a major department store showed forks were outselling matching knives by almost two to one.
And etiquette authority Debrett's said the research pointed to a wider relaxation in dining habits, with less formal meals and more fast food snacks.
"In years gone by, our parents and grandparents sat down and had formal meals together," said etiquette expert Jo Bryant, of Debrett's.
"But that doesn't happen so much these days and people don't learn table manners from an early age like they used to."
The figures released, by Debenhams, showed sales of large, main-meal forks were almost double those of matching knives at its 155 stores nationwide.
In London, customers bought almost three forks to every knife, although in other areas, including Birmingham, Belfast and Doncaster, sales were more even, Debenhams said.
Ms Bryant said: "We've certainly found that table manners are more relaxed and the declining use of the knife is part of that.
"We do eat more fast food, more rice and pasta dishes, where knives are not needed but people are often trying to use their fork as a knife when they shouldn't. That's when table manners decline.
"It's definitely something people should remember."
Debenhams said it had launched a "Civilised Dining Campaign" to promote dining table manners.
"Using both a knife and a fork to eat has held this country in good stead for centuries - it's one of the mainstays of being British," said Debenhams spokesman Ed Watson.
"It's all about maintaining standards, so we want to act now before the single fork habit becomes ingrained in the next generation."
A Debenhams spokesman said the exact sales figure for knives and forks would not be released but added it "runs into the thousands".
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 5 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...
£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...