Summary of our market study

In France, the funeral services market is expected to reach €3 billion by 2022.

The global funeral services market was valued at $62.5 billion in 2023, with an expected growth rate of 6.1% per year to reach $113 billion in 2033.

In France, sales of funeral services grew by an average of 4.11% between 2015 and 2022, with the market expected to reach $3 billion in 2022 . The French market, made up mainly of national players with a high degree of local integration, is expected to experience continued growth due to structural demographic changes, including an aging population and an increased preference for cremation over burial.

In 2022, there were around 4,413 funeral service companies in France, and the number of deaths reached around 673,637, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a heat wave. The market is tending to consolidate, with major players such as Funécap and OGF (20% market share by 2022), but is also seeing the entry of mutual insurers such as La Maison des Obsèques. Funeral services are diversifying, with more ecological and digital solutions emerging as key trends.

Demand for funeral services in France against a backdrop of demographic change

The French funeral market is a sector that has continued to grow despite changing demographics, cultural practices and consumer expectations. Between 2009 and 2022, the number of deaths in France rose sharply. This represents a substantial increase of around 25% over the entire period studied.

Insee projections predict even higher annual death rates by 2050, reaching a minimum of around 770,000. This upward trend, due in part to the aging of the population and known as the "papy-boom" effect, creates a constant demand for funeral services.

A significant development in the market is the growing preference for cremation over traditional burial practices. Over a decade, the desire for burial has fallen by 10 points to 37%, while the preference for cremation has jumped by 10 points to 63%. The choice of burial or cremation is often influenced by personal beliefs and environmental considerations.

Demand for eco-certified coffins and biodegradable urns has exploded, with 52% of French people expressing a preference for these options. In line with the ecological movement, innovative practices such as humusation and the use of bicycle hearses symbolize a deeper ecological awareness in the funeral industry. Another trend we're seeing is a push towards personalization and digital integration. Consumers are seeking to ensure that their funerals faithfully reflect their identity and personal ties. For example, customizable caskets and digital obituaries are gaining ground, meeting the needs of a population that has integrated technology into its daily life.

In addition, end-of-life care for pets has become a booming sector, mirroring the human funeral market. With over 50% of French households owning a pet, specialized funeral services for pet owners are on the increase, including undertakers specializing in pet burials.

Despite changing preferences and trends, small local funeral operators retain a competitive edge over larger groups, often offering more affordable options.

Main market players

  • OGF - Pompes Funèbres Générales: OGF, short for "Organisation Générale des Funérailles", is one of the oldest and largest players in the French funeral market.
  • Funécap: A relative newcomer to the market compared to OGF, Funécap has rapidly developed into a significant market force. Thanks to aggressive growth strategies involving mergers and acquisitions, Funécap has steadily increased its market share.
  • La Maison des Obsèques: The entry of mutual insurer La Maison des Obsèques, a spin-off from the mutual insurance sector, represents a new angle of attack on the funeral market.
  • Independent local players: Beyond the national giants, the market is also teeming with local, independent companies serving families in their own communities. These players are known for their personalized touch and in-depth knowledge of local traditions and sentiments. While they may not have the financial clout of the big competitors, they often win the loyalty of their customers thanks to their tailor-made services.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

The funeral market is the market linked to funerals organized following the death of a person. Formerly handled in France by public players and in particular La Société des Pompes funèbres générales in the XIXᵉ century, the sector has been liberalized since 1993. Numerous companies are now investing in the market.

The funeral market is made up of two main players:

  • Funeral services (organization of the funeral, provision of the coffin or urn (depending on the choice of cremation or burial), transfer of the body and hygienic care of the deceased)
  • Marble services (creation of headstones and monuments, flowers and cemetery fees)

The French market has grown by an average of 4.11% between 2015 and 2022. This market is made up of a multitude of small and medium-sized private players with highly developed territorial roots. However, the market is tending to concentrate around major national players such as Funécap and OGF, following multiple mergers and acquisitions.

The funeral market is also facing the arrival of new players: mutual insurance companies. Formerly organized through partnerships with the historic players in the funeral industry, their offer is evolving. They want to be able to support their members as closely as possible right up to the end of their lives. La Maison des Obsèques, created by mutual insurers, is one example. In addition, funeral insurance products are on the rise, making it easier to organize a funeral following a death.

The funeral market is closely linked to France's structural demographic changes, which are conducive to its growth. To remain dynamic, market players are renewing and diversifying their offerings: more ecologically responsible solutions (such as eco-certified coffins) and low-cost products are emerging. Also of note is the growing importance of online communication by the various networks and players in the funeral industry, who are promoting their services via digital channels.

Finally, practices are evolving, and cremation is increasingly being chosen over traditional burial.

1.2 Global market

In ****, the global funeral market will be worth $**.* billion, and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of *.*% over the next ten years, reaching $*** billion in ****.

Forecast growth in funeral sales World, ****-****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

The funeral market varies widely around the world, as funeral expenses ...

1.3 The French funeral market

In France, in ****, funeral sales will total just over * billion euros , with around *,*** companies providing funeral services in ****.[***] The funeral market in France is essentially made up of national players, with relatively strong local roots. **% of undertakers are self-employed, and **% of funeral care structures (***) are self-employed .

Sales index trends France, ****-****, ...

1.4 The impact of COVID-19 on the funeral market

The number of deaths in France in **** was directly affected by the COVID-** pandemic. Indeed,this virus led to a **% rise in the number of deaths in March-April **** compared with the same period in ****.

However, the deaths during this period should not be confused with the disease itself. In fact, as ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 A structural demographic trend that favors market development

Number of deaths France, ****-****, in units Source: ****

This statistic shows the number of deaths in France from **** to ****. The lowest level of deaths in France was reached in ****, when around ***,*** deaths were recorded. In contrast, the highest number of deaths is observed in ****, with around ***,*** deaths, according to Insee. This ...

2.2 A change in French expectations

Cremation is a growing trend in France, and is tending to replace burial. Whereas in **** **% of French people wanted to be buried, ten years later the figure had dropped by ** points to **%. conversely, the figures for cremation have jumped by ** points in ** years, from **% of wishes to **%.

Preference between burial and ...

2.3 The importance of religious ceremonial

What type of ceremony do you prefer for your own funeral? France, ****, in Source: ****

Religious ceremonies vary by faith. The Fédération Française des Pompes Funèbres indicates the main differences:

The Catholic faith : In principle, Catholic funerals consist of a church celebration (***) followed by a time of prayer ...

2.4 Demand trends

Ecology

Reduce your impact on nature, even after your death.

Planting a remembrance tree is an idea that appeals to two out of three French people (***) as anoption. [***]

Cardboard coffins currently represent only *% of the market, and are hampered by a poor image of cardboard (***), which are immediately burned or ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market organization and dynamics

Here's a simplified value chain for the funeral industry :

It should be noted that the urns containing the ashes of people who have chosen cremation are not necessarily placed in a cemetery, but can be kept with a relative or scattered in the wild after prefectoral authorization.

Funeral services data are ...

3.2 Small stores are the most competitive on the market

Small companies more competitive than large groups

Source: ****

The two cheapest estimates for burial and cremation are from local undertakers, not large groups.

Generally speaking, a quote for a burial from a franchise network (***) will cost €***.** more than a quote from a local undertaker. Similarly, to a lesser extent, for a ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Products and services

Services marked with an * are those that must be contracted with a funeral service. Other services are optional and cannot be imposed.

4.2 Prices vary by company and service

In a Famille Rurales study in ****, investigators asked several funeral companies for the "cheapest possible" quote for a cremation or burial. The results showed significant disparities, with the most expensive quote worth up to * times that of the cheapest.

Base rate for a burial in several funeral companies France, ****, in € Source: ...

4.3 A complementary product: funeral insurance

A funeral insurance policy covers funeral expenses and guarantees your wishes after your death (***).

Every year, around ***,*** people take out a funeral policy . Their reasons are generally to finance their own funeral, and to avoid being a burden on their families when the time comes. A total of *.* million French people ...

4.4 An associated service: flowers

In ****, **% of French households purchased a cemetery plant for an average budget of ** euros. This figure is declining, but the drop in **** may be due to the various confinements that prevented families from visiting the cemetery.

Evolution of the proportion of French people who bought a plant for the cemetery during ...

5 Regulations

5.1 A highly regulated business

Obligations of next-of-kin following a death

In France, the use of an undertaker is compulsory, as they are the only employees authorized to perform the committal (***) and to provide a funeral vehicle. You are free to choose your own company.

The profession is highly regulated

A detailed, free, written estimate is ...

5.2 Demanding professional training

A professional qualification is required to work in funeral services.

A national diploma in thanatopraxy is required for the right to care for the deceased. This diploma is obtained after *** hours of theoretical training and ** months of practical training.

The next step is to obtain authorization from the prefecture to practice ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • OGF
  • Funécap groupe
  • Pompes Funèbres Pascal Leclerc (Funecap)
  • Roc Eclerc
  • Le choix Funéraire
  • Sérenium (OGF)
  • Services Funéraires Ville de Paris
  • Lassurance.obsèques.fr
  • Rebillon (Funecap)
  • En sa mémoire
  • La Maison des Obsèques (vyv Groupe)
  • Sorenir
  • Comitam

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Growth forecasts for the funeral industry
  • Sales trends in funeral services
  • Growth rate of funeral sales
  • Number of deaths
  • Cyclicality of deaths in France
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Latest news

Sorenir simplifies post-death administrative procedures with AI - 28/04/2023
  • Sorenir was founded in 2019 by Simon Joly, Emmanuel Ruiz and Vincent de La Guerrande.
  • The company supported 4,000 families in 2022.
  • Sorenir generated sales of 1 million euros in 2022.
  • The management team aims to achieve sales of 10 million euros by 2023.
  • Sorenir currently employs around one hundred people, and plans to add another fifty positions in the near future.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

OGF
Funécap groupe
Pompes Funèbres Pascal Leclerc (Funecap)
Roc Eclerc
Le choix Funéraire
Sérenium (OGF)
Services Funéraires Ville de Paris
Lassurance.obsèques.fr
Rebillon (Funecap)
En sa mémoire
La Maison des Obsèques (vyv Groupe)
Sorenir

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