While cell phones and televisions seem to be getting larger every day, one major aspect of modern life in the US has been steadily decreasing: household size. According to the 2014 US census, 77% of all US households are now 3 people or less. This is a remarkable demographic shift that has had a ripple effect in the housewares industry.
Single serve coffee, two-slice toasters and smaller slow cookers have all seen increases in sales due in part to dwindling household sizes. But one rapidly-growing category that hasn’t quite adapted to this shift is the rice cooker. While smaller models are available, they fail to offer the rich feature set of their larger counterparts.
Enter 3 Squares, a San Diego, CA based startup small appliance company. They launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 with the TIM3 MACHIN3, a versatile cooking appliance that speeds up rice cooking, makes yogurt, quinoa and oatmeal and also slow cooks.
Just last week, they introduced their next iteration on Kickstarter, a smaller version of the TIM3 MACHIN3, dubbed the MINI and in just 16 hours, they smashed their funding goal.
“Our customers were telling us they loved the TIM3 MACHIN3, but due to family size and limited space, really would prefer something smaller. We knew that they wanted it to be able to cook all the same stuff they were used to making in the larger unit, so we challenged our team to make it happen,” said Todd Rogers, President of 3 Squares.
Nearly 60% of the MINI’s funding surge came from the original TIM3 MACHIN3’s backers.
“I totally love my full size original and this mini is exactly what I wished for,” April Cook, a backer of the MINI, wrote on Kickstarter.
The MINI is not your typical rice cooker. It boasts rice cooking times up to 30% faster than competing models with better results. 3 Squares credits this to their Fuzzy Logic 2.0™ system.
The MINI is also a yogurt maker that takes all of the work out of making homemade yogurt. The MINI heats milk, allows it to cool, alerts the user when it’s time to add culture and then cooks the yogurt.
“The TIM3 MACHIN3 ends up making yogurt way better because of the turn key operation,” Uri Bivens, a MINI and TIM3 MACHIN3 backer, wrote on Kickstarter.
The MINI also packs in a proprietary method for cooking Quinoa, digital slow cooking, programmable steaming and even a specialized function for cooking oatmeal.
“We designed the MINI TIM3 MACHIN3 to be the most versatile small capacity rice cooker ever made,” said Kyle Erickson, EVP of 3 Squares. “It’s perfect for small households, cutting down on clutter and saving time in the kitchen.”
3 Squares pledges to ship the MINI TIM3 MACHIN3 to backers in December. It will ship with an accessory pack that includes their PADDL3 silicone spatula, RINS3 grain/vegetable washer, S3AL sealable plastic lid and standard steam tray and rice measuring cup.