Funeral Industry News

Casket Unit Volume Declines in 2010; Dollars Up 1.3%

May 24, 2011

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Casket Unit Volume Declines in 2010; Dollars Up 1.3%

Lake Bluff, Ill. — The total number of caskets sold in the United States in 2010 declined to 1.619 million units, 2.2 percent less than the 1.655 million units sold in 2009. However, dollars were up to $1.564 billion, a 1.3 percent increase over the $1.544 billion reported in 2009, according to statistics compiled by the Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America.

In dollars, cloth-covered caskets had the highest one-year advance. The $60.5 million in 2010 was 10.8 percent higher than the $54.6 million reported in 2009. Stainless steel advanced 6.8 percent to $121.4 million in 2010, compared to $113.7 million in 2009; gasketed steel was up 2.6 percent to $757.5 million from $738.3 million. On the down side, hardwood suffered a reduction in dollar volume in 2010 vs. 2009, falling to $394.5 million from $405.0 million; copper/bronze dipped 0.9 percent to $95.3 million in 2010 vs. $96.2 million in 2009; and non-gasketed steel declined 0.3 percent to $126.3 million from $126.7 million in 2009.

The average dollar sale per adult casket rose 3.6 percent to $979 in 2010 from $945 reported in 2009. The biggest gainer was the “other adult” casket, which advanced 25 percent to $360 from $288 in 2009. This was followed by clothcovered, up 13.4 percent to $347 in 2010 from $306 in 2009. Stainless steel was up 9.1 percent to $1,883 from $1,726

Estimates of Casket Sales to Funeral Directors

in 2009. Gasketed steel advanced 4.9 percent to $988 from $942; non-gasketed steel ticked up 1.8 percent to $499 from $490. Copper/bronze rose 1.2 percent to $2,944 from $2,908. Hardwood was the only type to decline in 2010, dropping 0.4 percent to $1,362 from $1,368 in 2009.

The association also reported that the 2010 unit volume was the lowest total of the past decade. Unit volume of every variety of casket was down in 2010 vs. 2009. At least the declines were consistent. Each casket type broken out in the report was off 2.2 percent from its corresponding 2009 figure. In 2010, gasketed steel accounted for 766,683 units or 47.3 percent of the volume, followed by hardwood at 289,632 units or 17.9 percent, non-gasketed steel at 253,023 units or 15.6 percent, cloth-covered at 174,460 units or 10.8 percent, stainless steel at 64,471 units or 4 percent, copper/bronze at 35,961 units or 2.2 percent, and plastic/fiberglass at 4,374 units or 0.3 percent.

This article was originally published in the Memorial Business Journal and republished on with permission. For more information on the Memorial Business Journal, an NFDA Publication, please visit: or