What do I envision happening in our part of the funeral care industry for 2023?
Consumer preferences for more contemporary, personalized and transparent deathcare experiences will continue to expand in 2023. Digital channels that allow families to choose when, where and how to engage with us will gain a greater foothold in the market. The most successful companies will seamlessly blend familiar funeral traditions with new technologies, modern operations and family-focused services tailored to each family’s individual wants and needs.
Succession planning will continue take on added urgency as the baby boomer generation of multigenerational owners approaches retirement age. Owners of small funeral homes will increasingly be challenged by the uncertain macroeconomic climate. Inflation, labor shortages and more limited access to capital will prompt many to seek partners to help them update and grow their businesses. Others are faced with the fact that they have no viable successors within their families or among their employees, so they will look for someone to buy them out. Merger and acquisition activity in the deathcare space, which accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, promises to remain strong in the year ahead. At Foundation Partners, we will continue to look for cremation-focused, market-leading brands who share our vision for creating the funeral home of the future.
As the population continues to shift to the country’s retirement meccas, cremation will only become more popular among these highly mobile, transient and tech-savvy consumers. This trend also will drive the demand for direct-to-consumer cremation services in 2023 and push state and federal government agencies to update statutes and rules governing funeral professionals.
I am very optimistic about the opportunities before our company and the profession in 2023 and beyond. This is one of the most exciting times to be in the funeral profession and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.