Cremation Without Ceremony: Co-op launches new direct to cremation service

30 May 2018

  • UK’s leading funeral provider responds to market demand
  • More than 1 in 10 cremations are now direct¹
  • Co-op estimates significant growth in interest for direct to cremation
  • New offering will cost £1,395, approximately the third of the cost of an average funeral

The UK’s leading national funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare, has today launched a new funeral option – Cremation Without Ceremony.

The new service, costing £1,395 and £1,230 in Scotland², is for those who would like a simpler choice for their funeral without compromising on high standards of care. Brought to the public’s attention by both David Bowie and novelist Anita Brookner, Cremation Without Ceremony differs from a traditional funeral in the way that there are no mourners present at the cremation. The popularity partially stems from more people opting for celebratory gatherings, rather than a more traditional funeral service.

The launch by Co-op Funeralcare has been driven by an increase in market demand, with over 80%³ of Co-op’s funerals being cremations in 2017 and only about 19% of people opting for burial. Trials by the business found that in just 6 months the number of direct cremations carried out overall increased from 5.8% to 12.5%⁴ of total cremations. The growth follows that already underway in the US, with 32%⁵ of all cremations there being direct.

Despite Cremation Without Ceremony costing less than half that of a traditional funeral, the business has found that for many the decision is not driven by price. Co-op has found that by not including a service, it gives families the chance to remember their loved one in their own way at a location of their choosing. Whether that be through a memorial service, a family get together or scattering the ashes at a place they loved.

With a lot of other providers of direct to cremation charging additional fees for services such as the collection of a loved one or for the coffin, Co-op has focussed on an all-inclusive price. As part of its price transparency agenda, Co-op has ensured all costs are covered with the only additional fee being a flat £95 for the delivery of ashes.

Co-op’s launch into the market allows consumers to opt for a direct cremation from a trusted and known brand. The service will be available to clients online or over the phone, clients can also visit their local branch to speak to Co-op colleagues for any necessary help, guidance and support.

With its recently launched biggest ever survey into death, dying and bereavement, Co-op is aiming to drive change by encouraging Brits to open up and to have conversations about their wishes. Whether that be telling loved ones you’d like a simple direct to cremation, or by putting financial provisions into place. Tens of thousands of Brits are expected to take part at⁶.

Caroline Jones, Head of Propositions for Co-op Funeralcare and Later Life Planning, said:

‘’We’ve seen an increased demand for this simpler service and our priority is always to do right by the families in our care. We’re expecting the demand for this offering to continue to rise, by introducing Cremation Without Ceremony we’re ensuring that we’re offering choices to families when the time comes to say goodbye.’’


Media Contacts:
Sarah Pyatt
Press Officer
Mobile: 07850 002 312

Lauren Pogson
PR Account Manager
Mobile: 07702 505626

For more information on Cremation Without Ceremony visit:

Notes to editors

¹ Source: ONS data & Memoria cremation figures based on a six month trial period by Co-op
²Prices are inclusive of third party costs. Price in Scotland reflects the laws around doctor’s certificates
³Co-op business data from 2017
⁴Source: ONS data & Memoria cremation figures
⁵Source: NFDA 2017 Cremation and Burial Report
⁶The survey will be conducted by YouGov

About Co-op:

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and an online electrical store. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,500 food stores and over 1,000 funeral homes, with more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of £9.5bn.

About Co-op Funeralcare:

Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.