In the 1960’s only 3.6% of Americans were cremated. Fast forward to 2015 and for the first time in US history cremations exceeded burials with a staggering 47.9% compared to 42.5% burials. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) cremation will continue to increase in popularity for the coming decades.
The public perception of cremation
The popularity of cremation in western society is on the rise. The public mindset around cremation as an end of life option has become widely accepted and many view the service as an economical and more sustainable option. With the potential to not only be placed on a traditional cemetery site, but potentially scattered at the sea, shot into space, turned into an artistic memorial, grown into a tree, or many other creative inventions. Cremation is seen as offering the highest level of personalization.
With the looming Silver Tsunami, baby boomers will increase death numbers drastically every year before leveling off in 2055. NFDA Statistics support industry indications and predict that by 2040, 78% percent of Americans will be cremated, meaning nearly double the amount of people who are opting for cremation today, and these numbers are just a glimmer of what we can expect globally. This upcoming influx in the cremation segment opens doors internationally for the Cremation Equipment & Products sector, who will have to continue investing in innovation to improve current cremation offerings to effectively manage the increase of operations.
Innovation in cremation
Cremator manufacturers from all over the world are already stepping up their game to keep up with the changing needs of the market.
The major US cremator manufacturer, Matthews has introduced a new brand with an emphasis on sustainability. And one of the major manufacturers of cremators in Europe, DFW Europe has introduced its first electric cremator which saves in one year an amount of gas equivalent to the yearly gas usage of 36 households. Innovation is also in the forefront with water cremations becoming more widely available globally due to industry lobbying.
With continued public favor on its side, the cremation segment has the potential to create new more sustainable and affordable offerings that can make a global impact environmentally and socially. Allowing for individuals to have more end of life choices that align with their values.