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Funerals and Funeral Planning - UK - August 2014

Death is becoming less of a taboo and the majority of over-50s are open to discussing their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones. Financial brands would benefit from promoting more open conversations about people’s end-of-life requirements, whilst taking into account the often sensitive nature of the subject.”
- Ina Mitskavets, Senior Lifestyles and Consumer Analyst

This report covers the following issues:

  • Overcoming the perception that talking about funerals is a taboo
  • Encouraging adults to formalise their end-of-life plans
  • Opportunities for less conventional approaches to drive further growth in the market
The market for funerals has proven extremely resilient throughout the downturn and beyond, and is predicted to repeat its strong growth in the next five years. Traditionally the topic of death has been a taboo in Western societies.
 
However, as the population of the UK continues to age rapidly and there are more and more people who are confronted with the needs of their elderly parents and the prospect of their own mortality, death is becoming a more open topic of conversation. Nearly two thirds (64%) of today’s over-50s are happy to talk about their funeral wishes with their family and friends.
 
There is also a positive relationship between prior involvement in organising a funeral and interest in planning for own end-of-life. This presents opportunities for financial brands to promote more open conversations about the topic of death and the importance of being prepared to encourage more engagement in funeral planning.
 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Methodology
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Over half of over-50s have not been involved in organising a funeral in the past 10 years
              • Figure 1: What people did to help with funeral arrangements in the past 10 years, May 2014
            • Nearly half rely on their property to finance future funeral
              • Figure 2: Preparedness for own funeral, May 2014
            • Over-50s express conventional preferences
              • Figure 3: Selected funeral wishes, May 2014
            • Nearly seven in 10 prefer a funeral as a celebration of life
              • Figure 4: Attitudes towards funeral arrangements and ceremony, May 2014
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

                • Overcoming the perception that talking about funerals is a taboo
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Encouraging adults to formalise their end-of-life plans
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Opportunities for less conventional approaches to drive further growth in the market
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • Trend Application

                                    • Trend: Open Diary
                                      • Trend: Make it Mine
                                        • Trend: Prepare for the Worst
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Key points
                                            • Trends in population age structure
                                              • Figure 5: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2009-19
                                            • Mortality rate
                                              • Figure 6: Trends in the number of deaths and crude death rate, UK, 2002-12
                                            • General life expectancy
                                              • Figure 7: Life expectancy at birth, UK, 1980-82 to 2010-12
                                            • Home ownership
                                              • Figure 8: Home ownership, by age, May 2014
                                            • Acorn group
                                              • Figure 9: Acorn group, by age, May 2014
                                            • Living situation
                                              • Figure 10: Detailed lifestage, by age, May 2014
                                            • State support for funerals
                                              • Impending shortage of burial sites
                                                • Figure 11: Trends in the proportion of cremations, 1980-2012
                                              • Burials mired in time delays
                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Personalisation
                                                    • Figure 12: Examples of coffin designs from Creative Coffins, July 2014
                                                  • Eco-friendly innovation
                                                    • Digital innovation
                                                      • Fashion and celebrity influence
                                                        • Funerals on a budget
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Components of funeral cost
                                                              • Figure 13: Components of basic funeral cost
                                                            • Strong growth in the funerals market, despite falling mortality rate
                                                              • Figure 14: UK funerals market value, at current and constant prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Market will repeat its strong performance in the next five years
                                                              • Figure 15: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK funerals market, 2009-19
                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                            • Companies and Services

                                                              • Market overview
                                                                • Figure 16: Market shares of the UK funeral business, 2014
                                                              • The Co-operative
                                                                • Dignity
                                                                • The Consumer – Involvement in Funeral Arrangements

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Females are key decision-makers in times of grief
                                                                      • Figure 17: Involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                    • ABC1s adopt a more proactive approach to funeral organisation
                                                                      • Figure 18: Involvement in funeral arrangements, by social grade, May 2014
                                                                    • Women more involved with funeral planning, whilst men contribute financially
                                                                      • Figure 19: What people did to help with funeral arrangements, by gender, May 2014
                                                                    • Approach to funeral organisation varies by social grade
                                                                      • Figure 20: What people did to help with funeral arrangements, by social grade, May 2014
                                                                  • The Consumer – Willingness to Discuss Funeral Wishes

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • The topic of death is steadily becoming less of a taboo
                                                                        • Figure 21: Willingness to talk about funeral arrangements with family, May 2014
                                                                      • Mortality becomes more ‘real’ with age
                                                                        • Figure 22: Willingness to talk about funeral arrangements with family, by age, May 2014
                                                                      • Openness to talking about funeral wishes wanes with education and social grade
                                                                        • Figure 23: Willingness to talk about funeral arrangements with family, by social grade and highest education level, May 2014
                                                                      • Involvement in someone else’s funeral as trigger for thinking about one’s own
                                                                        • Figure 24: Willingness to talk about funeral arrangements with family, by prior involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                    • The Consumer – How Prepared are People for their Funeral

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Over a quarter unaware of the actual funeral costs
                                                                          • Figure 25: Awareness of funeral costs, March 2014
                                                                        • Over-50s overconfident about meeting costs of their funeral
                                                                          • Figure 26: Level of consumer confidence in affording funeral costs, March 2014
                                                                        • Over eight in 10 over-50s have done at least something to prepare for their deaths
                                                                          • Figure 27: Number of steps people have taken to prepare for their funeral, May 2014
                                                                        • Making a will as a more cost-effective way of outlining final wishes
                                                                          • Figure 28: Preparedness for own funeral, May 2014
                                                                        • Financial products related to funeral planning have lower uptake
                                                                          • Figure 29: Selected ways of preparing for own funeral, by age, May 2014
                                                                        • Home-owners rely on value of their home to finance their funeral
                                                                          • Figure 30: Selected ways of preparing for own funeral, by housing situation, May 2014
                                                                      • The Consumer – Funeral Wishes

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Demand for cremations far outstrips that for burials
                                                                            • Figure 31: Selected funeral wishes, May 2014
                                                                          • Interest in cremations rises with household income
                                                                            • Figure 32: Selected funeral wishes, by household income, May 2014
                                                                          • Over-50s express conventional preferences for their funerals
                                                                            • Figure 33: Selected funeral wishes, May 2014
                                                                          • Men show less engagement with own funeral planning
                                                                            • Figure 34: Selected funeral wishes, by gender and age, May 2014
                                                                        • The Consumer – Attitudes to Funeral Costs and Impact on Family

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Funerals as a celebration of life
                                                                              • Figure 35: Attitudes towards funeral arrangements and ceremony, May 2014
                                                                            • Cost – not an issue
                                                                              • Figure 36: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, May 2014
                                                                            • Women worry more about being a burden on their family
                                                                              • Figure 37: Attitudes to funeral arrangements and impact on family, May 2014
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Demographic Overview

                                                                              • Figure 38: Demographic overview – Gender and age, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 39: Demographic overview – Age within gender, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 40: Demographic overview – Social grade, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 41: Demographic overview – Marital status and working status, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 42: Demographic overview – Gross annual household income, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 43: Demographic overview – Region, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 44: Demographic overview – Household tenure and cards held, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 45: Demographic overview – Acorn group, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 46: Demographic overview – Household size, May 2014
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Involvement in Funeral Arrangements

                                                                              • Figure 47: Involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 48: Involvement in funeral arrangements, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 49: What people did to help with funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 50: Most popular what people did to help with funeral arrangements, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 51: What people did to help with funeral arrangements, by involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 52: Willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, by involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 53: Preparedness for own funeral, by Involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 54: Funeral wishes, by involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 55: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by involvement in funeral arrangements, May 2014
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Willingness to Discuss Funeral Wishes

                                                                              • Figure 56: Willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 57: Willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 58: Involvement in funeral arrangements by willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 59: What people did to help with funeral arrangements by willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 60: Preparedness for own funeral by willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 61: Funeral wishes by willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 62: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family by willingness to talk about the topic of funerals, May 2014
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – How Prepared are People for their Funeral

                                                                              • Figure 63: Preparedness for own funeral, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 64: Preparedness for own funeral – I have made a will, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 65: Preparedness for own funeral – All/part of the cost of my funeral will be met from the value of my estate, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 66: Preparedness for own funeral – I have discussed my wishes for my funeral with a family member, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 67: Preparedness for own funeral – I have savings set aside specifically to cover my funeral, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 68: Preparedness for own funeral – I have a whole-of-life insurance plan that will cover some or all of my future funeral costs, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 69: Preparedness for own funeral – I have a written set of funeral arrangements in place, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 70: Preparedness for own funeral – I have a pre-paid funeral plan that will cover some or all of my funeral costs, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 71: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – I have discussed my wishes for my funeral with a family member, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 72: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – I have made a will, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 73: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – I have a whole-of-life insurance plan that will cover some or all of my future funeral costs, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 74: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – I have a pre-paid funeral plan that will cover some or all of my funeral costs, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 75: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – I have a written set of funeral arrangements in place, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 76: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – I have savings set aside specifically to cover my funeral, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 77: Funeral wishes, by preparedness for own funeral – All/part of the cost of my funeral will be met from the value of my estate, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 78: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – I have discussed my wishes for my funeral with a family member, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 79: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – I have made a will, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 80: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – I have a whole-of-life insurance plan that will cover some or all of my future funeral costs, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 81: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – I have a pre-paid funeral plan that will cover some or all of my funeral costs, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 82: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – I have a written set of funeral arrangements in place, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 83: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – I have savings set aside specifically to cover my funeral, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 84: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, by preparedness for own funeral – All/part of the cost of my funeral will be met from the value of my estate, May 2014
                                                                            • Repertoire of preparedness for own funeral
                                                                              • Figure 85: Repertoire of preparedness for own funeral, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 86: Repertoire of preparedness for own funeral, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 87: Preparedness for own funeral, by repertoire of preparedness for own funeral, May 2014
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Funeral Wishes

                                                                              • Figure 88: Funeral wishes, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 89: Most popular funeral wishes, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes to Funeral Costs and Impact on Family

                                                                              • Figure 90: Attitudes to cost of funerals and impact on family, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 91: Agreement with the statement ‘I like the idea of a funeral being a celebration of life, rather than a more traditional ceremony’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 92: Agreement with the statement ‘It is important to make at least some plans for the kind of funeral you would like to have’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 93: Agreement with the statement ‘It is important that wider family and/or friends are present at a funeral’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 94: Agreement with the statement ‘Having a religious aspect to a funeral is important’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 95: Agreement with the statement ‘If I were arranging a funeral the cost is not something I would worry about’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 96: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be interested in pre-paying for a funeral planning service to reduce the burden on my family’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                              • Figure 97: Agreement with the statement ‘I worry that my family will struggle to cover the costs of my funeral’, by demographics, May 2014

                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                          • Age UK
                                                                          • Co-operative Group
                                                                          • Dignity Plc
                                                                          • Interflora Flowers Ltd
                                                                          • Legal & General Assurance Society Limited
                                                                          • Leo Burnett International (UK)
                                                                          • National Association of Funeral Directors
                                                                          • Retirement Insurance Advisory Service (RIAS)

                                                                          Funerals and Funeral Planning - UK - August 2014

                                                                          US $2,672.70 (Excl.Tax)