The Funeral Industry Guide

Industry Deep Dive: The Funeral Industry

Death is inevitable and it does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, what your religion is or your profession, nor does it take into consideration where you live, your gender, sexual orientation, or the color of your skin. It comes for us all. With its inevitability, death has become an essential (albeit somber) industry and a large one at that, but many of these businesses are still small or family-owned. As a promotional products distributor, you can help these business owners promote their services and reach families in need with the power of promo. From casket makers to embalmers, lets take a deep dive into the funeral industry. “Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.” - Shakespeare, Hamlet

Source:,, Source: “Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them.” - George Eliot Stats Just how big is the funeral industry? The leading causes of death in 2022 were heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury (like car accidents and work related accidents). In 2018 over 20 million feet of wood, 4.3 million gallons of embalming fluids, 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete, 17,000 tons of copper and bronze, and 64,500 tons of steel were used in traditional burials. The funeral industry is worth nearly $20 billion. 36.6% chose to be buried in 2021. 60.5% of people would be interested in exploring green funeral options. It’s all in the family! 89.2% of funeral homes are family-owned. Cemeteries take up approximately 140,000 acres in the United States. 57.5% chose cremation over burial in 2021. The average cost of a funeral is $7,848. 31.7% would like to have their cremated remains buried or interred. There are about 19,000 funeral homes in the United States. The pet funeral and cremation industry was worth about $667.5 million in 2021. More than 3.2 Million people died in the U.S. in 2022.

Stats (cont.) 2.4 Million funerals each year. Source: Source: The market size of the funeral industry sector is expected to grow by 1.5% in 2023. In 2022, 59.3% of Americans choose cremation, which is increasing exponentially in all states. It is anticipated that by 2040 over 80% of Americans will be cremated. U.S. Projected Cremation and Burial Rates “Oh, how wrong we were to think immortality meant never dying.” - Gerard Way

Source: Canada Percent Burials, 2030 U.S. Percent Burials, 2030 Canada Percent Cremations, 2030 U.S. Percent Cremations, 2030 Stats (cont.) “Death was a friend, and sleep was Death’s brother.” - John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

“…And I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us anymore.” – Franz Kafka, The Castle Traditional When we think of a funeral, we typically think of funeral homes, embalming, caskets, lots of flowers, and lots of black. Here are some examples of promotional items that everyone in the funeral industry can use: Hair Ties Memorial Bag Item # 23902 Numo Ultra Thin Pocket Mirror Item # WPC-PM10 Ariel Premium Supply Inc Caring Condolences Sympathy Basket Item # 005331 Givens & Halpern Inc Unbreakable Pocket Comb Item # WAH-201 Royal Industries Losing A Loved One Coloring Book Item # 0458 Coloring Book Solutions Roll & Rinse Lint Remover Item # WPC-LR12 Ariel Premium Supply Inc Pillar Candle Item # 1489374 DollarDays International Inc Velvet Pouch Item # 36627 Koozie Group Reflections Wind Chine Item # B2BH207 Elements Global Group LLC For promo products that can be used as keepsakes:

“Of all the ways to lose a person, death is the kindest.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Traditional (cont.) For chemical vendors and embalmers: For hearse rental / manufacturers: Funeral homes have a lot under their umbrella, but the traditional funeral goes about six feet deeper. Here are some adjacent industries that you can tap into as a promo professional: For florists: 38” Women Lab Coat Item # 3155 Scrub Authority Casket Key Tag Item # 8118-C3 Quikey Manufacturing Co Inc Sympathy Greenery Card Item # DG59839 ADG Promotional Products Absorbent Car Coaster Item # 1848 Evans Manufacturing Anti-Fog Safety Glasses Item # AP-FM602-US-STOCK Athena Promo Mini Tissue Pack Item # PC185 alphabroder / Prime Line® Solstice Softbound Journal Item # WOF-SS19 Ariel Premium Supply Inc Sympathy Garden in Eco-Friendly Grocan Item # 21SYMPGC Groline Presentation Folder Item # PF-105 Independent Printing & Packaging

Traditional (cont.) Of course, the funeral industry doesn’t have to be somber - humor is a natural way to deal with challenging topics such as death. This can also extend to promotional products! For example, the coffin stress reliever has gone viral on TikTok. Here are some more tongue-in-cheek promotional products you can find for a death industry company - these would be especially great giveaways for a trade show. Flame Emoji Gel Pack for Crematoriums Item # 38074 Alpi International Ltd Ceramic Coffin Mug Item # CA06257 CA Amazing Resource Inc Ghost Reflective Keychain Item # AWAZ70104 Awesome Sourcing Inc Casket Squeezies® Stress Reliever Item # 26706 Alpi International Ltd 5” Standard Cork Coffin Coaster Item # CK-5CIN The Americanna Company-MA 5.92 Oz. Chocolate 2 Piece Coffin Item # HOL30097 Custom Chocolate LLC “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well used brings happy death.” - Leonardo Da Vinci

“Don’t think of it as dying,” said Death. “Just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush.” - Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch Cremation Recently, more people in the U.S. are opting for cremation over a traditional burial. But did you know there’s more than one option? You can even choose to be aquamated, a term used for water cremation. The process is called alkaline hydrolysis and it breaks down the body in about 14 to 16 hours, the remains are then converted to a fine powder and returned to the family. Today the process is legal in about 26 states and 5 Canadian providences. Other than the typical tools to promote a business, what other types of promotional products can you offer a crematorium or facility that offers a water cremation? Source: • Velvet Bags for Urns – small and larger sizes are great for full urns or if the family wishes to split up the remains • Small Urn Necklaces • Keepsake Boxes • Document Holder

“From my rotting body, flowers shall grow, and I am in them and that is eternity.” - Edvard Munch Green Burials Green burials have created a lot of buzz as of late - especially with green burial facilities taking to TikTok to explain why they’re better than the traditional burial, which was developed in the 1800s to help preserve the bodies of soldiers who died in The Civil War. As we become more climate-conscious, people are starting to explore more eco-friendly burial options. Some examples of this include: • Human Composting • Tree Pods • Water Cremation • Burlap Bags • Grow Your Own Flowers Kit • Burial Shroud • Chemical Free • Pine Box Burial • Pots and Planters • Seed Paper Business Cards and Folders Some good promotional product ideas for those are:

“Love is love,” I told her, as I tell all my patients who are ashamed to find themselves shattered by the death of a dog. “Loss is loss.” - Meg Donohue, Dog Crazy: A Novel of Love Lost and Found Pets The pet funeral industry is a booming one – and it’s unsurprising. As far back as Ancient Rome and Egypt, humans have ritualized ceremonies and burials for their pets. Now, the most common practice is cremation, though pet cemeteries are still in existence for those that choose to bury their pet. Some promotional ideas can include: • Velvet Bags • PineBoxes • Grave Markers • Photo Frames • Paw and Nose Print Kits

“Death is just another path, one that we must all take.” - Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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