Is the funeral industry, the field with no crisis? Or is something changing?
Is the traditional ritual still fashionable or is the generation 2.0 overwhelming even the funeral art?
First of all, let’s do some maths
In the world, every minute, an average of one hundred people died.
Every death is a cause of suffering for someone and a profit for someone else.
In 2017, in Italy, every minute and fourteen seconds one person died (roughly); in 2050 the experts say that the mortality rate will reach 13.7 per thousand.
According to updated data: in the United States, the funeral business sector is worth 16 billion dollars a year while, in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy, the funeral sector is worth between 2 and 3.5 billion.
In Italy, there are more than six thousand funeral directors, almost all have less than ten employees. One out of two opened after the liberalization of 1998.
The funeral, today
After someone’s death, his family members act in pain and in a hurry so they don’t deal with the price. Perhaps, thinking that saving money is a lack of respect for the deceased.
As the Economist wrote: “thanks to kind clients, the funeral directors can offer low quality services at high prices”, also because there is a significant “asymmetry of knowledge” between customers and operators of the sector.
What is changing?
According to the Economist, in many people, the death and funeral idea is changing and the funeral business could be in difficulty.
They should conform to the requests either because “social norms are changing while competition and technology are disrupting a business that took advantage of the situation” or because “the relatives of the deceased are more informed and do not want to pay (without asking questions) what they are told to pay”.
The three factors
According to the Anglo-Saxon weekly, three factors are leading the funeral industry to change.
In many states of the West, religions are losing their hold as well the chances of funeral rites are widening, opening up to less conventional proposals.
Cremation is becoming established in countries that are traditionally more religious than Italy.
And, “Internet has been changing death as has changed life”. Thanks to the Net, we can confront offers, read information, discover new possibilities and alternatives.
The magazine concludes:
“Nobody is writing the epitaph of traditional funeral rites. But the industry will have to be adapted to the change. The first signs have already seen in the United States, despite an increase in deaths, the incomes of the sector will be similar to the past year. The most important effect of these changes won’t be less expensive funerals. It will be a deeper change in the way how we manage, perhaps the most personal of choices: the management of farewells. “