Summary of our market study

The global funeral services market has been valued at $62.5 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $113 billion by 2033, growing at 6.1 percent over the forecast period. The industry is mature and its revenues are closely linked to mortality rates, which are influenced by demographic changes such as an aging population.[Factmr]

The Italian funeral market, in particular, employs about 50,000 people and includes 6,812 funeral homes and numerous manufacturers of related products such as marble, coffins and flowers. The Italian funeral industry is characterized by standardized religious ceremonies, but it faces challenges from changing preferences in favor of cremation and digital trends. Despite this, companies such as Taffo and SVE are adapting well to these trends. Mortality rates in Italy increased significantly in 2020, peaking at 12.5 deaths per thousand people due to the pandemic.[ISTAT]

Demand for funeral services is inelastic, family members are generally the customers, and competition is strong, including from low-cost alternatives abroad.

Demand trends

Market dynamics reveal that Italy's agingpopulation, with a projected average age of about 50 by 2050, is fueling steady demand in the industry. In addition, market responsiveness to mortality rates, which have reached an unprecedented peak in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Competition in the market remains intense. Local funeral homes, which number about 6,800, and funeral homes provide most services, but there is a market share reserved for public or state-funded enterprises, especially in urban centers.[ISTAT]

The average cost of basic funeral services in Italy ranges from 2,500 to 3,000 euros, but expenses can vary widely, from 1,500 to 15,000 euros, depending on choices of tombs, caskets, flowers and additional ceremonial elements. This wide variation is also due to price differences between regions and the industry's opaque fee structures.

On the regulatory front, the industry is entangled in a complex maze of national and regional laws.

Some of the major market players studied:

  • Taffo Funeral Services: Taffo Funeral Services has skillfully embraced digital transformation and online marketing strategies, which has enabled it to stand out in a traditionally conservative industry. Their bold advertising campaigns have enabled them to reach a wider audience.
  • SVE(Servizi Funerari Italiani): SVE has a strong national presence and a network of funeral services ranging from traditional ceremonies to the increasingly popular practice of cremation. Its versatile approach allows it to meet the needs of a diverse clientele, offering comprehensive services that include pre-planning, memorial services, and a variety of customizable funeral options.
  • Municipal funeral homes: In large cities or regions with a high volume of funeral services, municipal funeral homes exist. These entities often enjoy a competitive advantage because of their public support and are usually fully integrated, providing everything from autopsy services to cemetery management.
  • Nonprofit associations: Although smaller in size, nonprofit associations play a unique role in the Italian funeral market. Consisting of secular, moral and religious organizations, they offer services often related to specific values or community benefits. These groups may focus on providing more affordable services or offer specialized ceremonies aligned with particular beliefs or traditions, reinforcing the social value of the segment they serve.
  • Manufacturers and artisans: The many Italian manufacturers and artisans involved in the production of high-quality funeral products add to the list of key participants. These products range from fine caskets and urns to marble and granite funerary monuments, reflecting famous Italian craftsmanship.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Definition and Scope of the Study

The death of a loved one, in addition to being a sad moment in itself, comes with the need for funeral arrangements that fall on those most affected by the loss. This makes the funeral industry a delicate business. The funeral market can be defined as the market related to funerals that take place following the death of a person.

The funeral industry is a "Made in Italy" industry that employs about 25 thousand direct and 25 thousand indirect workers. This market, in 2020, consisted of 6,812 funeral directors and even more manufacturers of marble, coffins and florists.

The two main services that make up this market are:

  • Funeral services (funeral planning): this segment is divided into two parts:
    • Funeral Homes: they have all the necessary equipment for every aspect of funeral service.
    • Funeral Agencies: they do not have their own equipment, they simply plan the ceremony by renting or purchasing from third parties the necessary equipment to meet the needs of their clients.
  • Marble services (manufacture of headstones, monuments and flowers).

In Italy, the ceremony is generally religious (Catholic-influenced) and standardized in its structure, consisting of a few basic formal and traditional steps that do not leave much room for customization by the client, although complementary services (funeral furniture, type of headdress and related accessories, obituary, secular or religious rites, flowers, etc.) must also be included.

The funeral market is closely linked to structural demographic changes in the Italian population. This is partly reflected in the increase in funeral service turnover as the population continues to age in this country.

But this growth has its limits. In fact, the sector today faces the same problems as the service industry: the reduction in the purchasing power of Italian families, competition from low-cost alternatives from abroad, especially for coffin manufacturers, and regional and local regulations that are not harmonized with each other and with national regulations. In addition, an industry-specific problem is related to the growing popularity of cremation and secular practices that have led to a reduction in average spending on cemeteries and burials.

Finally, the funeral industry also faces opportunities and threats related to digitization and new social media trends.

However, some large companies such as Taffo and SVE have learned to take advantage of these new trends, proving that it is still possible to succeed in this market. The former has embraced digitization and implemented a strong advertising campaign on online channels, and the latter has successfully implemented cremation services to meet growing demand by leveraging its national network of funeral and related businesses.

1.2 The global market for funeral services

In the context of COVID-**, the global funeral care services market was estimated to be worth $**.* billion in **** and is expected to reach a revised size of $*** billion by ****, growing at a CAGR of *.*% during ****-****[***].

Global funeral market revenues World, ****-****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

There were **.* million deaths ...

1.3 The Italian funeral services market

The business of funeral services in Italy is slowly increasing in number and is expected to grow steadily over at least the next decade. This trend has been reflected in the annual turnover of funeral homes in Italy, which increased after **** by *.* billion, recovering from the financial crisis until reaching a ...

1.4 Impact of COVID-19

the COVID-** pandemic has inevitably affected the funeral market in Italy as elsewhere in the world. However, restrictions and the inability to gather too many people in an enclosed space due to social distance have changed the market significantly, and all companies active in this field have had to adapt their ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Determinants of demand

To quantify the importance and size of the funeral market in Italy, it is necessary to conduct a demographic analysis, with particular attention to mortality rates, which inevitably are a driver of demand for this market moving in the same direction. In addition, the age distribution and median age of the ...

2.2 Customer demand and characteristics

Demand for funeral services is generally considered inelastic, although not recession-proof. Activity tends to be steady, but with a degree of seasonality, with revenues and profits higher in the winter months when cases of influenza and pneumonia are more prevalent. While the funeral service industry is stable and its long-term prospects ...

2.3 Geographical distribution of demand

In order to visualize the geographic distribution of the demand for funeral services in Italy, two maps were created: the first depicting the geographic distribution of deaths in **** and the second depicting the average annual household expenditure on funeral services in each Italian macro-region.

Regarding the first aspect, in ****, almost **% of ...

2.4 Relevant demand trends

Two main trends are shaping the demand for funeral and related services today, in addition to a slight decrease in the purchasing power of Italians who, given the current situation, prefer to spend less on funerals than in the past.

Increase in popularity of cremation practices

Cremation is the only permanent ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market structure

In order to analyze the structure of the funeral market in Italy, enterprises under Ateco Code **.** "Funeral services and related activities" are analyzed. In particular, trends in the number of active enterprises and the number of employees are analyzed, as well as the legal form of different activities.

Number of ...

3.2. Competition and strategy

The funeral market in Italyconsists of a complex composition of local/regional (***), from a business perspective it is possible to generalize the description of the market structure as consisting of three major subsectors[***],

Private funeral directors who are widespread and evenly distributed throughout the country, and sometimes exist as sub-offices or ...

3.3 The main actors

The following is a proposed list of the main players active in funeral and cemetery services in Italy:

Funeral services

Imprese San Siro American Funeral s.p.a: headquartered in Milan, Italy, is a company that operates in the funeral business. Founded on April **, ****, it has established itself as an important ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 Typical presentation of a funeral service in Italy

The funeral market in Italy combines the offering of various products (***) by those interested in purchasing a prepaid funeral plan tailored to their needs.

In this sense, a typical ceremony includes the funeral director's expenses (***)Therefore, given the highly variable composition of packages and services, which generally depends on the needs ...

4.2 Prices

Analyzing the consumer price index for funeral services, between January **** and February **** shows an increase of *.* points, representing an average price increase of *.*%. In particular, as shown in the graph below, the increase is concentrated between January **** and February ****: while in the previous * years the increase was *%, over the **-month period ...

4.3 New industry trends

Digitization in the industry [***]:

The profile of people most concerned with online research for funerals of loved ones are young adults, who are part of the **-** age group. This is followed by people aged **-** and then those aged **-**. It is young people, between the ages of ** and **, who ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 Market regulatory framework

E the funeral home itself, in order to be authorized to carry out its activities within the limits provided by the territorial planning, must operate in accordance with the UNI EN ***** standard.

The Italian funeral market is regulated in the same way at the state and regional levels and allows for ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Companies

  • Imprese San Siro American Funeral s.p.a
  • Concordia s.r.l
  • OFT s.p.a
  • A.S.F. Italia s.r.l
  • Afc Torino s.p.a
  • Bologna Servizi Cimiteriali s.r.l
  • Azimut s.p.a
  • Ferrara Tua s.p.a

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Market value of funeral services and products
  • Breakdown of the population
  • Tasso di mortalità
  • Evolution of the number of deaths
  • Distribution of deaths by age group
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Latest news

New shopping spree for American funeral group HOFI (Augens Capital), which buys AROF - 29/06/2023

**Introduction of HOFI and AROF**:

  • **HOFI** (Holding Funeraria Italiana) is the leading Italian operator in the funeral business, formed by Augens Capital and BMO Global Asset Management from the base of Impresa San Siro American Funeral spa, with subsequent aggregations of small companies in the sector.
  • **AROF srl**, based in Perugia, was acquired by HOFI. The transaction was conducted by subsidiary Impresa San Siro.

**Details of the acquisition of AROF**:

  • Andrea Cerato, president of Impresa San Siro, will be appointed president of AROF.
  • For the acquisition of AROF, HOFI was assisted by LMS Studio Legale, EY (financial side), Studio Sampietro (tax aspects) and Maelius Group as financial advisor.

**Information about AROF**: Founded in **1996** by **seven entrepreneurs** in the industry, AROF has become the leading company in the province of Perugia and in Umbria, with over **4 million euros** in sales in **2022** and about **930 funeral services** annually.

**Objectives and financial aspects of HOFI**:

  • HOFI, enhanced by the entry of Antin Infrastructure Partners and Columbia Threadneedle along with manager-entrepreneurs from the acquired companies, plans to expand in Umbria through other combinations.
  • The acquisition of AROF enables HOFI to reach over **12,000 annual funeral services** in Italy.

**Evolution and acquisitions of HOFI**:

  • Prior to the acquisition of AROF, HOFI had made several acquisitions, expanding its presence in various Italian regions, including South Tyrol and Marche.
  • It started with the acquisition of **Impresa San Siro** in Milan in **2019**.

**Future and Strategy**: According to statements from HOFI and AROF executives, the goal is to improve the organizational structure and financial strength for new developments in the funeral industry and ensure continuity in situations of generational transition.

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. :

Imprese San Siro American Funeral s.p.a
Concordia s.r.l
OFT s.p.a
A.S.F. Italia s.r.l
Afc Torino s.p.a
Bologna Servizi Cimiteriali s.r.l
Azimut s.p.a
Ferrara Tua s.p.a

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