From Dracula to Tina Turner – Central England Co-op research showcases how personalised funerals are now the number one choice for customers

Central England Co-operative Funeralcare today publishes its fourth annual report into how its customers are using ideas from across their lives to design bespoke funeral celebrations.

Based on the feedback of colleagues from over 100 Funeral Homes, the survey showcased everything from requests for an entire funeral influenced by a customer’s love of Dracula to a group of all female funeral directors being asked to sing Tina Tuner’s ‘Simply the Best’.

The research also highlighted that over 85% of all funerals from the past year included some kind of personalisation including unique dress, coffins, transport and flowers.

Some of the most recent examples of personalisation from the past 12 months include:

  • Floral displays such as a 3D replica of a loved one’s precious dog and a massive dog bone, an adult-sized ice cream cone, a replica of a James Bond Omega watch and a wreath and entire set of funeral flowers made completely out of vegetables
  • A Tina Turner fan having one final request – for an all-female group of funeral directors to sing ‘Simply the Best’
  • The closure of several streets in Leicester to allow local residents to pay respects to a local councillor
  • The creation of a motorbike hearse and coffin covered completely in butterflies
  • A Dracula themed funeral including the loved one who had passed away being dressed all in black, a  black coffin and specially created bat flowers including fake blood
  • A mixture of different coloured clothing for Funeral Directors and congregation including red, orange and rainbow – and even a Darth Vader costume

The choice of music is another extremely personal touch with Central England Co-op research revealing that classics by Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli and Eva Cassidy remain firm favourites, with Ed Sheeran proving popular with young people. Pop music was the most popular genre closely followed by rock and classical.

This shift towards personalisation has also coincided with a notable rise in people opting to sign up to funeral plans or to fill out a funeral wishes form to ensure they get the tailored send-off that they want and also to ensure that the costs do not fall on their family following their death.

Liz Hunt, Head of Funeral Operations at Central England Co-operative, said: “These great examples shine a light on the growing trend of personalisation and the importance of planning ahead to ensure people know your wishes for your funeral.

“We would advise people to pre-plan if there’s something specific that they would like for their funeral service. The other consideration is that pre-planning lessens the financial burden and decision making for your next of kin at a difficult and emotional time. A pre-planned funeral means that the family can take some comfort from the fact that the person who’s passed away is having their wishes met.”

Central England Co-op funeral plans are fully guaranteed – meaning that there will never be more to pay for the services chosen.

All of the funeral plans include the funeral director’s fees and services, hearse and personnel, cremation or burial fee and minister’s fees.

People can find out more about personalised funerals and pre-paid plans by visiting or call 0800 454 552.

People can find out more about specialist Floral tributes by visiting



Notes to editors


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property.


The company’s funeral business consists of over 120 funeral homes across 16 counties, nine florists, masonry production and administration, Bretby Crematorium and Terry Smiths coffin factory.


Central England Co-operative has more than 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


The Society has an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme for 2019.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, @mycooplife and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


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