New report from leading funeralcare provider reveals how funeral trends are changing to reflect the modern world

Services live streamed around the world, personalised ceremonies and ‘event funerals’ – these are just some of the ways the traditional funeral is changing according to new research.

This close look at current trends in the funeral industry has been put together as part of Central England Co-operative’s annual Insight Report.

The data has looked closely at what funerals looked like in 2018 and how that could affect the way families look to mark their passing or the passing of a loved one in the future.

The report reveals that the use of technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in funeral services and is expected to become more and more a part of the funeral process.

From social media being used to announce details of the funeral ceremony and digital candles being lit in a loved one’s memory, to live streaming of funeral ceremonies allowing people from all over the world to be a part of the day, modern technology is transforming the options available to people when planning a funeral.

Kevin Crute, Head of Funeral at Central England Co-operative, said: “While there will always be a place for the more traditional funeral service, there is no doubt that we are increasingly seeing a shift towards families wanting to personalise their funerals and the funerals of their loved ones.

“New technology has opened up new possibilities for families to honour their loved ones with social media and digital solutions becoming increasingly popular.

“This is also true for the ceremony itself which is why we have invested in state-of-the-art audio and visual technology at our crematorium in Bretby, South Derbyshire, to allow services to be broadcast over the internet, should that be the families wish.

“We are proud at Central England Co-op to have an experienced and dedicated team of Funeral Directors and arrangers who make it their mission to do everything they can to help families during their time of need, including helping people to personalise their loved ones funeral to make it unique to them and reflect the life they have lived.”

The report highlighted an increasing move towards personalisation in funerals, a trend expected to continue to be a major theme over the coming years.

People are planning funeral services that are as unique as the person who died with a surge in demand for unique services that reflect the hobbies, passions and interests of the loved one.

Funerals as ‘events’ is also an increasing trend according to the report, with themed funerals on the rise, which is not only reflected in the coffin, choice of flowers or the way people dress, but also in invitation design and the reception afterwards.

People are also looking to spend more on wakes and life celebration events, rather than the ceremony itself. This is highlighted by recent data from Central England Co-operative which shows a 70% increase in the number of unattended funeral plans sold.

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


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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