2021
9
UK Funeral Planning Market Report 2021
2021-06-15T04:03:19+01:00
OX1050273
2195
139479
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Report
en_GB
“While many industries struggled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, an early assumption was that the devastatingly high death rate would at least be a boon for the funeral…

UK Funeral Planning Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Attitudes Towards Funeral Planning market research report identifies funeral planning industry analysis, funeral costs, and life insurance providers in the UK. The UK Attitudes Towards Funeral Planning Market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Funeral Planning market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape 

The government’s raft of social-distancing measures introduced in March 2020 saw funerals subjected to heavy restrictions to minimise transmission, with caps on attendees persisting into 2021. This saw funeral planning becoming much smaller scale and reduced the average spend, limiting the growth in the sector despite the surging death rates.

  • 47% of all adults agree that the pandemic has made simpler funerals more appealing.
  • While death figures in 2020 were 14% higher than the preceding 10-year average, spending on funeral services rose by just 6%.
  • Direct cremations accounted for an estimated 14% of all funerals in 2020, up from just 3% the year before.

2020 also saw a downturn in sales of new pre-paid funeral plans, both thanks to people’s changing priorities and negative perception of the sector. However, there was also a rise in aftercare services and memorial services held at a later date.

Future Market Trends in Funeral Planning 

As social-distancing measures lessen, funerals will undoubtedly become a bigger event once again. However, the lower costs associated with new consumer preferences for more paired-back events will put further pressure on operators. Savings built up during the pandemic could also mean that people are less inclined to take out pre-paid plans or over-50’s life insurance products.

UK funeral planning and funeral service providers must now be more innovative with their basic plans, as well as giving these lower-cost solutions a greater focus in their marketing communication. This could include showcasing their direct funeral options, but brands can also build plans that sit between these most basic funerals and their current propositions.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Lifestages market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the funeral market.
  • Consideration given to funeral planning and level of pricing awareness.
  • Factors influencing choice of funeral plan or insurance provider.
  • Attitudes towards talking about funeral planning with family and friends.
  • Attitudes towards the cost of funerals.
  • Emerging trends in funeral preferences.

Covered in this report

Services: Over-50’s life insurance, funerals, pre-paid funerals, cremations, burials, natural burial, human composting, water cremation, coffins.

Brands: Co-op, Dignity, Farewell, Environmental Stewardship Group, Loop, Pure Cremation.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Jack Duckett, a leading analyst in the Consumer Lifestyles sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While many industries struggled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, an early assumption was that the devastatingly high death rate would at least be a boon for the funeral market. In reality, although demand for their service certainly did surge at the peak of the outbreak in April 2020, this did not translate into significant growth in revenues for funeral care providers, as lockdown and social-distancing measures significantly limited the scale of funerals and in turn the average spend.
A growing preference for simpler funerals in now set to ensue, and while this will undoubtedly pose challenges for operators, it also signals opportunities for innovation among lower-price point products.
Jack Duckett
Associate Director – Consumer Lifestyles

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on funeral planning
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on funeral planning, May 2021
    • The market
    • Funeral restrictions hamper growth in funeral spending in 2020
      • Figure 2: Market size and forecast of the UK funeral market, including best-case and worst-case scenarios, 2015-25
    • Pre-paid funeral plans continue to decline
    • Companies and brands
    • Funeral providers adapt to COVID-19 restrictions
    • Market share holds steady even as funeral numbers increase
    • Adspend plummets as funeral plan advertisers look to avoid accusations of insensitivity
    • The consumer
    • COVID-19 strips funerals back to basics
      • Figure 3: Attitudes towards funerals, March 2021
    • Financial worries put people off making formal funeral plans
      • Figure 4: Level of consideration given to funeral planning, by age within gender, March 2021
    • Growing savings could pose threat to pre-paid plan providers and insurers
      • Figure 5: How consumers who have made formal funeral plans expect to pay, March 2021
    • Cost remains a crucial consideration for funeral plans
      • Figure 6: Influencing factors on choosing a funeral plan/life insurance provider, March 2021
    • Direct cremations set to take greater share of funerals in future
      • Figure 7: Personal preference towards own funeral type, March 2021
    • The environment remains important to consumers even after death
      • Figure 8: Interest in funeral features, March 2021
    • Funeral cost is a widespread concern
      • Figure 9: Attitudes towards funerals and funeral planning, March 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • COVID-19 restrictions drive simpler approach to funeral planning
    • Increasing regulation could help pre-paid funeral market
    • Breaking down the taboos around discussing funeral plans
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Pandemic leads to surge in deaths in 2020…
    • …but sharp downturn in average funeral spend limits benefit to the market
    • Pre-paid funeral plans continue to decline…
    • …but new regulations could help boost market
    • Pandemic leads to record saving activity
  5. Market Size and Forecast – Value of Overall Funeral Market

    • Impact of COVID-19 on the funeral market
      • Figure 10: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the funeral market, May 2021
    • Reduced average spend hits market growth
      • Figure 11: UK funeral market value, 2015-20
    • Growth to stumble in the coming years
      • Figure 12: Market size and forecast of the UK funeral market, including best-case and worst-case scenarios, 2015-25
      • Figure 13: Market size and forecast of the UK funeral market, 2015-25
    • Key factors behind Mintel’s economic assumptions
      • Figure 14: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast (prepared on 5 March 2021), 2015-25
    • Learnings from the last recession
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Size and Forecast – Volume of Pre-paid Funeral Plans

    • Impact of COVID-19 on pre-paid funeral plans
      • Figure 15: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on pre-paid funeral plan volume sales, May 2021
    • Pre-paid funeral plans continue to decline
      • Figure 16: Number of pre-paid funeral plan sales, 2010-20
    • COVID-19 sees surge in plan draw down
      • Figure 17: Number of plans drawn down and number of undrawn plans, 2010-20
    • New regulations could help boost market
      • Figure 18: Fan chart of forecast for volume of pre-paid funeral plan sales, 2015-25
      • Figure 19: Forecast for volume of pre-paid funeral plan sales, 2015-25
    • Key factors behind Mintel’s economic assumptions
      • Figure 20: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast (prepared on 5 March 2021), 2015-25
    • Forecast methodology
  7. Market Drivers

    • Deaths surge in 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreak…
      • Figure 21: Annual number of deaths in the UK, 2000-20
    • …and are expected to remain high in 2021
      • Figure 22: Cumulative number of first and second vaccines delivered in the UK, 10 January-25 May 2021
    • Ageing populations to bolster funeral market in coming years
      • Figure 23: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2015-25
    • Pandemic leads to record saving activity
      • Figure 24: Monthly changes in household savings, January 2016-January 2021
    • COVID-19 undermines growth in over-50s’ life insurance premiums…
      • Figure 25: Value and volume of new over-50s guaranteed acceptance life insurance premiums, 2015-20
    • …albeit with a return to growth projected from 2021
  8. Regulatory and Legislative Changes

    • COVID-19 outbreak ushered in strict new funeral restrictions…
    • …which have largely persisted into 2021
    • CMA publishes market study into the funeral sector
    • FCA launches pre-paid funeral plans consultation
  9. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Market share holds steady even as funeral numbers increase
    • Funeral providers adapt to COVID-19 restrictions
    • Advertisers rein in adspend in bid to avoid accusations of insensitivity
    • Opportunities to explore new marketing channels
  10. Market Share – Number of Funerals

    • Market share holds steady even as funeral numbers increase
      • Figure 26: Provider share of number of funerals, 2018-20
    • Future could prove less fragmented
  11. Competitive Strategies and Launch Activity

    • Operators adapt to COVID-19 restrictions and enhance aftercare solutions
    • Co-op creates COVID-19 packages
    • Dignity launches its Timeless Funerals
    • Direct funerals become more essential services
    • Farewill to launch direct cremation service
    • Sustainability positioning continues to grow
    • Environmental Stewardship Group launches to help meet climate challenge
    • Co-op celebrates 10 years of being carbon neutral
    • A return to nature
    • Green light for water cremation
    • Enriching the soil with a ‘living’ coffin
  12. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Adspend plummets as funeral plan advertisers look to avoid accusations of insensitivity
      • Figure 27: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on funeral expenses insurance, funeral directors and over-50s life protection, 2016/17-2020/21
    • Television exposure increases during the pandemic
      • Figure 28: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on funeral expenses insurance, funeral directors and over-50s life protection, by media channel, 2020-21
    • The trouble with direct mail advertising
    • Social-media usage rises among over-55s
      • Figure 29: Use of social media platforms, 2019-20
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  13. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • COVID-19 strips funerals back to basics
    • Increasing regulation could help pre-paid funeral market…
    • …but growing savings levels will also bring challenges for providers
    • Price remains a key issue for consumers
    • Direct cremation/burial appeals to 27%
    • Funerals tap into key lifestyle trends
  14. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Vulnerable over-55s worry most about being exposed to the virus…
      • Figure 30: Proportion of adults indicating higher levels of anxiety (‘4’ or ‘5’) towards being exposed to the coronavirus, by age, 28 February 2020-12 March 2021
    • …prompting more people to think about their funeral
      • Figure 31: Proportion of adults who agree “The COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak has made it more important than ever to think about your funeral”, by age within gender, March 2021
    • COVID-19 strips funerals back to basics
      • Figure 32: Attitudes towards funerals, March 2021
    • Growing online confidence among over-55s
  15. Consideration Given to Planning Own Funeral

    • Older women are the only group likely to have made any formal funeral plans
      • Figure 33: Level of consideration given to funeral planning, by age within gender, March 2021
    • Financially secure more likely to have made funeral plans
      • Figure 34: Level of consideration given to funeral planning, by household financial confidence and household income, March 2021
  16. How People Expect to Pay for Funeral Costs

    • Pre-paid funeral plans prove more popular than life insurance
      • Figure 35: How consumers who have made formal funeral plans expect to pay, March 2021
    • 44% plan to use savings or money from their estate
      • Figure 36: Proportion of adults planning on using personal and family money to pay for funeral plans, March 2021
  17. Consumer Understanding of Funeral Costs

    • Older adults more confident in their knowledge of funeral costs
      • Figure 37: Confidence in knowing how much a funeral costs, March 2021
    • £3,000-5,000 is the average funeral cost estimate
      • Figure 38: How much people expect the average funeral to cost, March 2021
  18. Choosing a Funeral Plan Provider

    • Consumers value trustworthy providers
      • Figure 39: Influencing factors on choosing a funeral plan/life insurance provider, March 2021
    • Cost remains a crucial consideration
    • More flexibility will be expected of providers
    • Gifts offered when taking out policy prove important
  19. Funeral Preferences

    • Majority of people want to be cremated…
      • Figure 40: Personal preference towards own funeral type, March 2021
    • …but burials appear more popular among the young
      • Figure 41: Personal preference towards own funeral type, by age, March 2021
    • Getting back to nature
      • Figure 42: Interest in funeral features, March 2021
    • Direct cremation/burial appeals to 27%
      • Figure 43: Appealing funeral features, by age, March 2021
  20. Attitudes towards Funerals

    • Discussing funeral plans with family considered highly important
      • Figure 44: Attitudes towards funerals and funeral planning, March 2021
    • Repositioning death as an aspect of wellness
    • Virtual funerals prove divisive
      • Figure 45: Proportion of adults who agree “live-streaming of funerals feels inappropriate”, by age, March 2021
    • Price remains a key issue for consumers
      • Figure 46: Attitudes towards funerals and funeral planning, March 2021
    • Increasing regulation in the funeral market
  21. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  22. Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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