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MARKET OVERVIEW

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The funeral market is the market related to funerals organized following the death of a person. Formerly taken care of in France by public players and in particular by La Société́ des Pompes funèbres générales in the 19th century, the sector has been liberalized since 1993. Numerous companies have been since then investing in the market.

The funeral market is composed of two main players:

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

The French market has grown at an average rate of 3.03% between 2015 and 2020. 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: the mutual insurance companies. Formerly organized through partnerships with the traditional funeral directors, their offer is evolving. They want to be able to accompany their members as closely as possible until the end of their lives. The Maison des Obsèques, created by mutual insurance companies, is one example. Also, funeral insurance products are growing rapidly and make it easier to organize a funeral following a death.

The funeral market is closely linked to the structural demographic changes in France, which are favorable to its development. In order to remain as dynamic as possible, market players are renewing and diversifying their offers.  More ecologically responsible solutions (such as eco-certified coffins), or low-cost solutions, are emerging. It is also important to note the growing importance of online communication by the various networks and players in the funeral industry, who are promoting their services through digital channels.

Finally, practices are evolving, and cremation is more and more chosen instead of a classic funeral.

1.2 Global market

Turnover of the worldwide funeral market World, ****, in billions of euros Source: ****

In ****, the French funeral market was estimated to be worth $*.* billion (***). In the United States, the industry is worth $** billion, with **,*** businesses and over ***,*** employees [***].

1.3 The French funeral market

Evolution of the turnover index France, ****-****, index base *** **** Source: ****

An increase in the revenue index of the funeral services market in France has been registered with a CAGR (***) of *.**% between **** and **** and a higher increase of *.*% between **** and ****.

In addition, in France, approximately ***,*** deaths occur each year (***). The funeral market ...

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 **% increase in the number of deaths in March-April **** compared to the same period in ****. However, one should not confuse the deaths of the period with the disease itself: indeed, as INSEE ...

ANALYSIS OF THE DEMAND

2.1 A structural demographic evolution that favours the development of the market

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 about *** *** deaths were recorded. In contrast, the highest number of deaths was observed in ****, with approximately *** *** deaths according to the National ...

2.2 A change in French people's expectations

Cremation is a growing trend in France, and it tends to replace burial. While in **** **% of French people wanted to be buried, they were only **% ten years later, a drop of ** points. Conversely, cremation jumped by ** points in ** years, going from **% of French people wanting to be cremated to **%.

Preference between ...

2.3 The importance of religious ceremonial

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

Religious ceremonies vary according to the religion. The French Federation of Funeral Services indicate the main differences:

Catholic Funerals: In principle, Catholic funerals consist of a celebration in church (***) followed by a time of prayer in the ...

2.4 Demand trends

Ecology

Reduce its impact on nature even after its death.

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

The cardboard coffins represent today only *% of the market and are confronted with a bad image of cardboard (***) which are immediately burnt or ...

MARKET STRUCTURE

3.1 Market organization and dynamics

The data relating to funeral services are referenced under NAF code **.**Z.

The number of companies in the French funeral market has been steadily increasing since ****. According to INSEE, in ****, there were *,*** companies in the funeral market, with **.*% of them having fewer than ** employees.

The market is mainly made up of ...

3.2 Small shops are the most competitive in the market

Small companies are more competitive than large groups

Source: ****

The * cheapest quotes for a burial and a cremation were from local funeral companies and not from large groups.

Generally speaking, a quote from a franchise network (***) for a burial will cost €***.** more than a quote from a local funeral home. Similarly, ...

ANALYSIS OF THE OFFER

4.1 Products and services offered

4.2 A price that varies according to the company and the services

In a study by Famille Rurales in ****, investigators asked several funeral companies for the "cheapest possible" quote for a cremation or burial. The results showed consequent disparities, the most expensive estimate is worth up to * times the least expensive estimate.

Basic rate for a burial in several funeral companies France, ****, in ...

4.3 A complementary product: funeral insurance

Every year, between ***,*** and ***,*** people take out a funeral contract. Their reasons are generally to plan their funeral and not to be a burden to their families when the time comes. In total, *.* million French people were covered in **** and this number is expected to increase further as the market has ...

4.4 An associated service: flowering

In ****, **% of French households have bought a plant for the cemetery or funerals. The average budget for funeral flowers was **,* € per household.

Distribution of florists' sales in volume and value France, ****, in % Source: ****

The flower market is worth *** million euros per year. The flowers most commonly used to decorate graves are ...

REGULATION

5.1 A highly regulated activity

The profession is highly regulated

A free and detailed written estimate is mandatory. The canvassing commercial is prohibited. The hearses and vehicles intended for the transport of corpses must undergo a confirmation check every three years (***).

The tariffs are freely fixed by the companies . However, the regulations governing the prices of ...

5.2 A demanding professional training

A professional qualification is required to carry out an activity related to funeral services.

You must have a national diploma of thanatopraxy to have the right to practice the care of the deceased. The latter is obtained after a theoretical training of *** hours and a practical training of twelve months.

The ...

POSITIONING OF THE ACTORS

6.1 Segmentation

  • OGF
  • Funécap groupe
  • Pompes Funèbres Pascal Leclerc
  • Roc Eclerc
  • Le choix funéraire
  • Sérenium
  • Services Funéraires Ville de Paris
  • Lassurance.obsèques.fr
  • Rebillon
  • En sa mémoire
  • La Maison des Obsèques

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Reviews (1)

The funeral market - France

Publicado en 19/11/2021 by Patrick Caudwell - Châlons Mars Consultant

Very complete study addressing all the problems and developments in the sector


Businesscoot Response:

Hello Patrick, Thank you for your feedback and we are delighted that this study has given you a good overview of the market.