death care industry
(DETH cayr IN.dus.tree) n. The industry comprising funeral homes, cemeteries, and suppliers of funeral products [cf. health care industry]

Example Citation:
Baby boomers are already online in droves, often planning for elderly parents' funerals, and, increasingly, their own.

On the Web, they find something totally foreign to the traditional death care industry — consumer information. Price comparisons abound, anathema to an industry that has thrived in a death-denying culture where people pay the asking price at the local funeral home and rush for the door.
—Craig Bicknell, "Abra Cadaver: A Fight for Bodies," Wired News, October 19, 1999

Earliest Citation:
To adapt to these societal changes and to capture their share of the market, funeral homes have launched aggressive advertising campaigns, moved their operations into unconventional settings, such as shopping malls, and tried to shed their gloomy image by a variety of tactics, including painting their hearses in colors other than black. Funeral directors also have become more flexible, arranging services that accommodate personal choices, such as the scattering of ashes across lakes or mountains, that they would have been rejected in past years.

In attempting to improve its image, the "death care" industry—as the nation's funeral directors like to call themselves—has had a long way to go. Mitford's conclusion that exploitive sales practices were "routine, rather than exceptional in the nation's funeral parlors" was followed by a highly publicized investigation of the funeral industry by the Federal Trade Commission, which included 52 hearings across the country.
—Margaret Engel, "The New Rites of Death," The Washington Post, June 24, 1984

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