Direct cremation funerals to increase

Direct cremation funerals to  increase to 10% of UK funerals by 2030

Research[1] conducted by Dignity plc, one of the UK’s (self styled) premium funeral directors, shows that 53% of online consumers would consider a David Bowie style funeral for themselves, namely a Direct Cremation.

At the Prepaid Funeral Review, we have looked across the market at prepaid Direct Cremations with a little concern.  What happens if family and friends don’t agree with your decision to cut them out of the traditional funeral?  We always ask people to consider this and discuss it with family members and friend.  A good proportion of them then come back and opt for a more conventional funeral.   But let’s not spoil Dignitys’ Press Release:

A direct cremation is a low cost alternative to a traditional funeral, because cremations take place without a funeral service. The family arranges for the deceased to be collected, taken into care, and a cremation takes place without the family present.  Ashes can then returned to the family who often arrange their own reception or event to remember the deceased, which can be done at a significantly lower cost.

Annual unattended direct cremation volumes in the UK are estimated to be between 3-5% of UK deaths (18,000-30,000 people a year2) and Dignity is predicting this figure to reach or exceed 10% by 2030.

Simon Cox, Head of Insight and External Affairs at Dignity said; “The growth in the UK’s interest in direct cremation is in response to a shift in consumer attitudes towards funerals. Consumers are moving away from a one size fits all traditional funeral service and among the very many different needs this includes those who may wish to choose an unattended or low cost funeral option.

In addition public figures, such as David Bowie, demonstrated earlier this year that there are other options for people who choose a send-off with no fuss.  We witnessed a sharp spike in public interest for direct cremation immediately after Bowie’s death”.

John Troyer from The Centre for Death and Society at University of Bath said “Based on my research on the history of final disposal methods in the United States, direct cremation is something that many individuals choose when making end-of-life decisions about what should be done with their body. As in the US, I would expect to see interest in direct cremation continue to grow.”

Simon Cox continued; “To put it into context a basic funeral is £3,973[2] and is predicted to grow to £5,334 by 2021[3]. Not everyone wants to or can spend over £3,900 on a funeral with more and more people looking for alternatives such as direct cremation services, which can cost less than half the price. This is because a direct cremation requires so much less than the traditional funeral in terms of the various elements, people and planning.

 

[1] Research conducted for Dignity by Trajectory Partnership. Amongst an online nationally representative sample of over 2,000 UK individuals.  2 Calculation using ONS figures

[2] Matter Communications 2016

[3] Dignity based on data from Matter Communications 2011-2016

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