Industry Trends

Our industry has changed more in the last 10 years than it has in the previous 100 years. The cremation trend is on the rise in all areas of California and the cemeteries need to adjust to the micro-market in their own area. There are areas in California where the cremation rate is 25% and conversely, there are areas where the cremation rate is 90%. Such issues as ethnicity, cultural background, and economics all effect the decisions of the constituents living in the area of influence for a given cemetery.

Change in an age old industry is difficult, but necessary to keep up with the ever changing market of the consumer. Many cemeteries have double digit options for the final disposition of cremated remains with multiple price points available to allow the consumer not only esthetic options, but the ability to find an economic comfort level.

Become aware of the true cremation rate in your market place by conversing with individual mortuaries to compare their rate to yours. As we know, the mortuary deals with the initial arrangements and should be able to establish a “true cremation rate”. A major issue right now is families picking up the cremated remains and taking them home. Options need to be offered that give a family a choice to memorialize their loved one and working with local mortuaries to facilitate that option may be be an important business goal of the cemetery.

I am seeing case loads remain constant at many cemeteries, but the ground burial to cremation placement ratios have had a major effect on the revenue. This issue is becoming a significant business hurdle and needs to be addressed at association meetings to see how the cemeteries are handling this increasing problem.