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Death Care Industry Overview, News, Companies, Products And Services

Death Care Industry News, Outlook, Overview, Trends, Companies, Jobs, Research, Products and ServicesDeath Care Industry Overview

Listed below is an overview of the death care industry in the United States along with news, companies, trends, statistics, industry forecasts, research, memorial products and funeral services.

Description of the Death Industry

The death industry, also called the death care industry, generates $20 billion dollars a year in revenues in the United States. The terms death industry or death care industry describes companies such as Rome Monument based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rome Monument is just one of thousands of companies in the United States that manufacture products and provide services related to dying, burial and the end of life for humans- and pets too.

This industry includes monument manufacturers and dealers such as Rome Monument. Other types of businesses in this industry include funeral homes such as Dignity Memorial, which is the consumer-facing brand name for SCI which is the largest funeral company in the United States. Service Corporation International (SCI) is a major supplier of deathcare products and services including funeral, cremation, and cemetery services. There are over 22,000 funeral homes in business in the United States.

Crematoriums and crematories are categorized as death industry businesses as are coffing manufacturers, cemeteries and memorial parks. Even pet cemeteries are included in this industry.

Recent News

Video: How To Purchase a Private Family Mausoleum with Design Pictures, Plans and Costs

This video shows you examples of custom designed private family and estate mausoleums for sale by Rome Monument. It also explains how you can order or purchase a completely customized private family mausoleum from a Rome Monument Showroom in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, or from your home anywhere in the United States. Once designed and constructed, the mausoleum is delivered, assembled and installed in the cemetery of your choice.  You can order, buy, purchase and commission a Private Family Mausoleum with any number of crypts in different styles, shapes, sizes, and price ranges. 

This video shows you how a spouse or family member can order an exact duplicate of a U.S. military veteran’s government-issued bronze grave marker, but with the spouse’s or family member’s inscription information. If you plan to be buried alongside the veteran in a private cemetery, the government will not make these markers for you. Fortunately, Rome Monument specializes in creating copies of these bronze veteran’s grave markers and even Veteran’s Offices refer people to Rome. You can order from home anywhere in the United States or from a Rome Monument showroom in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania.

Mausoleum Construction Company
Rome Monument is a mausoleum construction company, mausoleum contractor and mausoleum builder with over 80 years of experience as a design/builder of private family mausoleums for cemeteries and memorial parks.  Our mausoleum construction standards are rigorous and meticulous.

Monument Company Offers Free Repair To Beaver Co. Cemetery In Need
February 26, 2018
When a large headstone got knocked over, Grove Cemetery in New Brighton, PA didn’t have the people, equipment or money to fix it and needed some help.  The memorial for a man named Yee — a highly regarded doctor buried in Beaver County’s Grove Cemetery in 1979 — was found knocked over.  Rome Monument fixed Dr. Yee’s monument in Grove Cemetery for free.

Matthews International Announces Acquisition of Star Granite & Bronze
Matthews International Corporation announced that the Company has acquired Star Granite & Bronze, based in Elberton, Georgia, for $41.2 million, subject to a working capital adjustment and potential contingent consideration adjustment based on future performance. Star, a family-owned business, is a well-respected manufacturer and distributor of granite and other memorialization products to cemeteries and other customers across the United States. In the year ended December 31, 2017, Star’s revenues were approximately $31.3 million and the company has approximately 200 employees.

SCI is the dominant player in the Deathcare industry, which one way or another has a demographic tailwind behind it.  With a recent history of rewarding shareholders and outperforming the SP 500 on a 1, 3, 5 and 10 year time frame as well as a clear path towards revenue growth the stock appears poised to continue the out-performance.  With room for consolidation and addressable market expansion this company could very likely reach a 20+B market cap by 2030. If the company acquires its' way to 30-40% market share (not unheard of in many industries) with a larger overall market that projection may not be that far off.

Stanford's AI Predicts Death for Better End-of-Life Care
Deep learning AI is helping screen for ill patients who could benefit from having end-of-life conversations earlier. Using artificial intelligence to predict when patients may die sounds like an episode from the dystopian science fiction TV series “Black Mirror.” But Stanford University researchers see this use of AI as a benign opportunity to help prompt physicians and patients to have necessary end-of-life conversations earlier.  For more information, read "Improving Palliative Care with Deep Learning".

Monument dealers, funeral homes, cemeteries and memorial parks often manipulate consumers in order to sell headstones, memorials and tombstones.  Often the first thing somebody does when they are making burial arrangements in advance of a person dying, is to inquire about purchasing a cemetery plot. This may be the first time a business will offer to sell a monument to the consumer. Without knowing much about the process of buying a pre-need headstone, a consumer can be easily manipulated or coerced into buying a grave marker from a cemetery representative. Funeral homes also try to sell monuments to consumers who are in their business office to make arrangements for a funeral for a relative that has just died. Funeral homes also take advantage of unsuspecting customers who don't know the first thing about ordering a gravestone. Monument dealers also use some underhanded techniques to influence customers to order monuments that are overpriced. The article on explains some of the dirty tricks used by companies in the death care industry.
Death Care Services Market Global Report 2018 from The Business Research Company provides the strategists, marketers and senior management with the critical information they need to assess the global death care services market.
Basic services can cost thousands of dollars more at one funeral home compared with another. And most arrangements are made quickly when a family member dies. It means high-dollar decisions are made under the duress of grief, the press of time and usually with no experience.  Two consumer groups have called for an update to the rule. They want the Federal Trade Commission to require funeral homes to post their general price lists online.  A survey of Kansas City area funeral home prices in 2016 found that a standard funeral’s price ranged from $3,700 to $9,455 in the metropolitan area’s seven central counties. The cost covered embalming, body preparation, visitation, a service and a graveside service. Those prices did not not include the casket, grave liner or burial costs.  Direct cremation — the least costly alternative — ranged from $675 to $3,035, based on the survey by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City.
When you look at the studies of why people decide to commit assisted suicide or be euthanized, a consistent pattern emerges. It is very rarely about pain that can’t be controlled–despite the euthanasia movement’s fear-mongering about that being the reason to legalize euthanasia. Rather, it involves deep existential fears–primarily (but not exclusively) of losing dignity, meaning a profound worry that we are less worth loving when impaired than we were when healthy. And imagine what kind of an abandoning society we will establish if we allow fears of losing dignity or being a burden to become substantially grounded in reality and accepted as the norm to justify support for suicide.

Taking The Silver Cloud Granite Operation To A New Level
Since 2003, Italian stone producer Nikolaus Bagnara S.p.A. has owned the Silver Cloud granite quarry in Lithonia, GA. The site sits approximately 20 miles outside of Atlanta, and is operated by Nikolaus Bagnara’s U.S. subsidiary, Broad River Quarries, LLC.  Silver Cloud granite has been around for years.  It is a staple in the monument industry and the local markets around the Atlanta metro area.  Since purchasing the quarry in 2003, Broad River Quarries has taken Silver Cloud to the world.  Eagle Granite Company, established in 1961 uses Silver Cloud (Grey Cloud) granite to manufacture monuments. Eagle Granite Company is located in Elberton, GA.

The Tribute Companies is a firm located in Wisconsin that offers products and services to funeral homes and cemeteries. They provide news about the cemetery, cremation and funeral profession.
A three-month investigation by MONEY found that retail consumers face misleading sales tactices from funeral homes. Funeral homes are dealing with revenue pressures due to  growth in less expensive cremations.  Frequently, funeral shoppers have to deal with aggressive or misleading sales tactics from funeral and death care product providers. Some firms in the $17 billion death-care industry purposely take advantage of emotional customers. This sales tactic has been around for generations. The 1963 bestseller “The American Way of Death,” written by Jessica Mitford exposed misleading sales practices in the cemetery and funeral industry. Finally, in 1984, the Funeral Rule was passed. The FTC enforces the regulations.
A tussle over headstones in New Jersey may end up before the Supreme Court. In 2013 the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey sought to sell headstones and mausoleums directly to parishioners shopping for a plot at one of its 11 cemeteries. This was convenient for mourners and provided a handy income for the church. The problem, the archdiocese would soon learn, is that this was someone else’s turf.  Within months of the archdiocese’s first headstone sales, the Monument Builders Association of New Jersey, a trade group, sued the church, alleging foul play. The association lost its battle in court—the church was not doing anything illegal—so took its case to New Jersey’s legislature. The lobbying paid off: in March Governor Chris Christie signed into law a ban on religious cemeteries operating funeral homes or selling memorials or mausoleums. The law, which takes effect next year, applies to any religious cemetery, but it was crafted to curb the Newark archdiocese’s sudden burst of funerary entrepreneurialism.  “They are going to put us out of business,” says John Burns, president of the Monument Builders Association
Cemetery Monument and Memorial Industry News
Read about Rome Monument and the memorial industry in the local news and watch videos from television stories related to our community involvement.

MBNews: The Official Monthly Publication of the Monument Builders of North America
The MBNews’ mail-out circulation is about 1,000 copies. Companies that subscribe the the publication are MBNA members. Members are primarily owners of monument retailing companies such as Rome Monument.  Readers of the publication get information about memorial art, innovations and trends in the monument industry, cemetery memorial designs, monument financing programs, stone cutting and carving tools and machines and ways to improve their day-to-day business operations.

This trade show is a great way to connect with providers of funeral, cemetery, memorial and cremation product and services throughout the United States.
Funeral Planning and Consumer Rights
Funeral service planning and consumer rights are concepts that families should carefully consider together to avoid costly funeral-related mistakes and unscrupulous providers. Multiple factors make the funeral industry unique from the customer's perspective.  Rome Monument has a funeral planning guide and checklist for families.
Overview of the Changing Deathcare Industry
The death care industry in changing. Consumers are now buying monuments, funeral services, burial plots and caskets before a death occurs. These types of purchases are described as preneed purchases. More and more families are ordering cemetery monuments well in advance of the passing of family members.
This industry is a good investment option for investors that are looking for a stable and conservative investment. Because death is not going away, companies such as Rome Monument have both new and reocurring customers. This industry is in it's mature phase and it is not a growth industry. Sales and the product mix have a major impact on the bottom line, however, there are other factors in play.  Companies that want to grow can not count on an increasing market base. Instead, they need to expand by taking market share away from their competitors, increasing their prices for funeral products and services, acquiring other companies and lowering their costs. 
Once seen as recession-proof, the funeral industry is in a death spiral—except for owners willing to adapt to a new generation of the dead. The death-care industry is going through major shifts nationwide as customs evolve. Families are more spread out, so multiday wakes are less common. Cremation, which costs half what traditional services do, is becoming more popular. Consolidation by large conglomerates—Service Corp. International operates 36 funeral homes in the five boroughs—has further pressured independent operators.
Companies are starting to cater to the pet loss market. Rome Monument sells memorials and headstones for pet cemeteries and cremation urns for pets.  When a family loses a pet who is a beloved member of their family, they want to do something special to honor their furry (or scaly, or feathered) friend.
The top three occupations are morticians, undertakers and funeral directors; Grounds maintenance workers; and Embalmers and funeral attendants. On average, full-time employees work 43.8 hours per week and have an average annual salary of $48,450. Part-time employees in the same industry work 19.2 hours and earn an average annual salary of $16,173.
The cemetery services industry includes firms that operate sites or structures reserved for the interment of human or animal remains. The industry also includes companies that offer cremation services. This industry does not include funeral homes, nor does it include funeral homes that operate cemeteries. Industry products include interment services, sale of graves/plots/spaces, cemetery maintenance services, sales of funeral goods, cremation services and preburial services.
Rome Monument Begins Marketing and Promoting Their Wholesale Granite Monument Manufacturing and Monument Installation Services Nationally
Rome Monument is a wholesale granite monument supplier that sells memorial products and services to monument dealers, cemetery management organizations and funeral homes. We wholesale granite headstones to retail businesses all across the United States.  Rome Monument is an experienced monument retailer and a granite memorial wholesaler. We sell large quantities of granite headstones to other monument dealers, cemeteries and funeral homes located throughout the United States.
Funeral Industry Financial Data and Economics
The U.S. funeral market produces $20.7 billion in revenue per year. There are about 2.4 million funerals each year in the United States. An average funeral costs between $8,000.00 and $10,000.00. There are about 57 million Americans over the age of 60. In 2012, SCI grossed over 2.4 billion in revenue. Service Corporation International employees over 21,000 people.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), in 2015, the rate cremation surpassed that of burial. Consumers choose cremation because of costs, environmental concerns and fewer religious restrictions.  Consumers are now becoming aware that they can purchase monuments and headstones for family members that have been cremated.
Bills before the legislature would stop religious organizations that operate or own cemeteries from selling or manufacturing cemetery memorials, funeral vaults and mausoleums
The death industry is a tale of two economies. A relatively few large companies, most of them publicly traded, control most of the businesses that sells caskets and granite for memorials. The rest of the death industry is made up of many modest businesses.
Rome Monument Now Focusing on Erie and Northwestern PA
February 1, 2018
In 2018, Rome Monument began focusing on designing custom monuments and headstones for families that live in the city of Erie and other towns in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Rome Monuments installs monuments, mausoleums, grave markers and headstons in cemeteries and memorial parks following counties in Northwestern, PA including the ones listed below.

Customer Service In Deathcare: How The Funeral Home Industry Cares For The Living
May 26th, 2017
There are more than 20,000 funeral homes and more than 100,00 cemeteries in the U.S. alone, and the annual economic activity in this sector has been estimated to be north of $20 billion.