Baby boomers ensure funeral industry far from dying trade

The funeral industry has opened its doors to the public for the first time, with a one-day trade show in Auckland lifting the lid on a far from dying trade.

Everything from jewellery to eco-caskets was on display at New Zealand’s first ever funeral industry trade show. Source: 1 NEWS

The baby-boomer generation is expected to bring an increase in funeral business in the coming years.

And the industry is changing with the times.

"Like any industry, things are changing and evolving all the time. Funerals are different than the funerals of my grandfather's day," Stephen Dill of the Funeral Directors Association told ONE News at the trade show.

There were no eco-caskets back then. Now there's plenty of variety, with caskets offering comfort in the afterlife. 

"Visually engaging, excellent ergonomics," read a sign about some caskets on display.

Brightly painted caskets at the show were the brainchild of Ross Hall, creator of Dying Art.

If they can find it on the internet, then we need to meet their needs as well. - Casey Martin of Eagers Funeral Services

"It really started when I was doing my will. And I thought to myself, I really didn't want to go underground in a brown box. I wanted a red one," he said.

With the anticipated increase in business from baby boomers, comes a range of memorial items - like wildflowers to plant post-funeral.

"It's just a nice gift to give out at a service," says Ross Tindall of Growing Memories, explaining a packet of flower seeds.

Gems to take home with a loved one's ashes aren't available in New Zealand yet, but funeral directors got the first chance to see the new product. One10 carat gem on show will set you back just shy of $60,000.

"If they can find it on the internet, then we need to meet their needs as well. So coming to this - seeing what's available overseas - means we can meet their needs as well," said Casey Martin of Eagers Funeral Services.

With urns of many styles and colours on display, the trade show proved the perfect place to find your final resting place.