Content of the study:
The funeral market - Italy

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1.1 Presentation and Scope of the Study

The death of a loved one, other than being a sad time in itself, is accompained by the need of organizing a funeral which falls upon the people that are most affected by the loss which makes the funeral industry a tricky business. The funeral market can be therefore defined as the market related to funerals following the death of a person. 

The funeral sector is a "Made in Italy" sector which gives work to around 25 thousand direct employees and to 25 throusand indirect ones. This market, as of 2018, was composed of 6000 funeral homes and even more marble workers, coffin makers and florists [Sole 24Ore]. 

The two main services which compose this market are therefore:

  • Funeral services (funeral planning): this segment is further devided between:
    • Onoranze Funebri: they own all of the necessary equipment for every aspect of the funeral service.
    • Agenzie Funebri:  they do not own their own equipment, they just organize the ceremony renting or purchasing the necessary equipment from third parties to satisfy the clients' needs.
  • Marble services (making tombstones and monuments and flowers) 

In Italy, the ceremony is generally religious (of Catholic influence) and standardized in its structure, consisting of a few basic formal and traditional phases that do not leave much room for personalization of the client, although it is also necessary to include the additional services (funeral furniture, type of cap and related accessories, obituary, secular or religious rites, flowers, etc.) to perform the ceremony. 

The funeral market is closely linked to the structural demographic changes of the Italian population. This is partly reflected in the increase in turnover of funeral services given the incresingly aging population in this country. 

But this growth has its limits. Indeed, the sector is nowadays facing the same problems of the manufacturing and services sectors: reduced spending power of Italian families, the competition from low-cost alternatives coming from foreign countries, especially for coffin manufacturers, and the regional and local regulations which are not allineated among themselves and with the national ones. Moreover, a sector-specific issue this market is facing has to do with the increased popularity of cremation and secular practices which led to the reduction of expenses for cemeteries and burials.

Finally, the funeral industry is also facing the opportunities and threats linked to digitalization and new social media trends. 

However, some major companies such as Taffo and SVE have learned to exploit these new trends showing that is still possible to succeed in this market. The first embraced digitalization and implemented a strong advertising campaign on online channels and the second succesfully implemented cremation services to meet the increasing demand through the exploitation of its national network of funeral and related services enterprises. 

1.2 The Global Funeral Services Market

Amid the COVID-** crisis, the global market for Death Care Services was estimated at US$***.* Billion in the year ****, is projected to reach a revised size of US$***.* Billion by ****, growing at a CAGR of *.*% over the period ****-****. The Funeral Homes and Funeral Services segment is projected to record *.*% CAGR ...

1.3 The Italian Funeral Services Market

Funeral activity and services in Italy have slowly increased in number and are expected to grow steadily over at least the next ten years. This trend has been reflected in the annual turnover of funeral and and related activities e enterprises in Italy, which has increased after **** (***) due to increased demand ...

1.4 COVID-19 Impact

 The COVID-** pandemic inevitably affected the market for funerals in Italy as everywhere else in the world. However, the restictions and the impossibility of gathering too many people in a closed space due to social distancing, changed the market in a significant way and all of the enterprises active in it ...


2.1 Determinants of Demand

In order too quantify the importance and size of the funeral market in Italy, a demographic analysis must be conducted, with particular focus on death rates which are inevitably a determinant force for demand in this market which moves in their same direction. Moreover, also the age distribution and the median ...

2.2 Demand and Customer's Characteristics

Demand for funeral services is generally considered to be inelastic, even though not recession proof. Business tends to be consistent, but with a degree of seasonality, with revenues and earnings highest during the winter months, when influenza and pneumonia cases peak. Although the Funeral Services Industry is stable, and its long-term ...

2.3 Relevant Trends in Demand

Two main trends are nowdays shaping demand for funeral and related services, together with a slight drecease in spending powers of Italians which, also considering the current situation prefer to spend less on funerals than they did before. 

Increased Popularity of Cremation Practices

Cremation is the only definitive option which does ...


3.1 Market Structure

The funeral market in Italy consists of a complex composition of local/regional (***), from a commercial point of view, it is possible to generalize the description of the market structure as being composed of three important sub-sectors [***]:

Private funeral companies: they are widespread and equally distributed throughout the country, and which ...

3.2 Competition and Strategy

Competition in the sector is very strong not only between Italian companies, but also in relation to chinese international companies which offer bargains at about half the price for all items related to the funeral market.

On one side, quality is the main driver for Italian companies who try to differentiate ...

3.3 The Importance of Market Positioning

It is imperative for companies active in the funeral and related activities market to be aware of the fact that the service they offer is atypical and should therefore be treated as such in all of its steps and components. 

That is why, positioning is of paramount importance for a funeral ...


4.1 Typical Presentation of a Funeral Service in Italy

The funeral market in Italy combines the supply of several products (***) by people interested in purchasing a prepaid funeral plan, adapted to their own needs. 

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

4.2 Pricing of the Offer of a Funeral Services Provider

The options available in the industry and on the list of optional items and services which complete the offer of the average funeral services provider in Italy are:

However, in the country, common expenses for a full package funeral service are estimated to fluctuate around certain variable costs, ranging from about ...


5.1 Market Regulatory Framework

Every funeral company, in order to be authorized to carry out its activity within the limits provided by the territorial planning, must operate in compliance with the UNI EN ***** standard.

The Italian funeral market is regulated in the same way at State and regional level and it allows the inclusion of ...


6.1 Companies

  • Taffo
  • SVE Servizi Funerari
  • SAIE s.r.l.

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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.