While many people are familiar with the saying that the only sure thing in life is death and taxes, they may not be aware that even the death industry undergoes frequent changes as a result of societal trends. No industry is purely static, and the funeral industry is undergoing a number of societal and demographic trends, just as other industries are.
Over the past century, religion has been playing a diminishing role in the lives of many individuals. This has significantly impacted how funerals are conducted. Many funerals no longer have significant religious components associated with them. This has led individuals to be freer in choosing the types of funeral services that they wish as their last rites and not to necessarily choose to adhere to the funeral rites that are required by their religion. Having said that, many still choose to have religious funerals conducted.
The overall trend in recent years has been a move from burials to cremation. There are several reasons why this trend has remained in effect. For one, as noted above, many individuals are no longer tied to religious ceremonies. In addition, cremations are significantly cheaper than burials are. This is true for many reasons including the increasing costs of burial plots and the limited space that is often set aside for a formal burial. There have also been new cremation technologies that have developed new methods of cremating bodies at more affordable amounts than ever before. There is even a cremation technology San Francisco firm that specializes in developing these new technologies. Further, many family members request holding onto the urn of a loved one as a way of honoring and remembering that person after they are gone.
For those who do choose formal burials, improvements in the delivery of caskets has allowed for a more extensive set of casket options for those looking to purchase one. One casket seller, Hillenbrand who owns the casket company Basketville, offers a full range of caskets that can be delivered to funeral homes on an almost just-in-time basis. This provides family members to purchase whichever model that they want even being able to customize a casket with various personal effects without delaying the funeral. Family members are no longer bound to the few models available at a funeral home.
The funeral industry has, as such, been undergoing many of the same changes that other industries. Technology has improved the supply of products which have led to an increase in the options available to those purchasing these products for deceased loved ones. Furthermore, new and improved technologies have been lowering the costs and allowing for quicker delivery of these products. Finally, changing tastes have led to changes in the way that these funeral services are being provided to customers.