Casket Industry On Its Deathbed As Weak Consumers Choose Cremation Over Burial


Times are tough, but who’d have thought it would get to this:

More and more consumers are choosing cheaper alternatives for when they die. Discount caskets and cremation are bigger than ever.

In turn, casket revenues have croaked.

WSJ: In response, casket makers are diversifying, building less expensive models and expanding cremation offerings. The country’s biggest casket maker, Hillenbrand Inc., parent of Batesville Casket, is going outside the funeral business altogether. Earlier this year it said it would spend $435 million to buy K-Tron International Inc., which makes factory equipment.

“We are a very significant player in an industry that isn’t growing,” explains Hillenbrand Chief Executive Ken Camp.

Part of the problem is people like Marc Kruskol, a 52-year-old publicist in Palmdale, Calif. He doesn’t want a casket burial regardless of how strong the economy is, he says. When he dies, he wants to donate his organs and be cremated. Traditional burials are a waste of cash, he says. “It’s like taking a bag full of money and burying it.”

So blow your money today and then immolate yourself. It’s the New Normal.

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