Pandemic Necessities: Guns, Jigsaw Puzzles, Yeast Among Items Flying Off The Shelves

Shivdeep Dhaliwal

Many businesses are experiencing hard times during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but there are exceptions.The stay-at-home orders and lockdowns have created a demand for all kinds of goods and services.

Here's what people are buying.

Some Small Businesses Thrive

The unique circumstances arising from the pandemic have meant that some small businesses are thriving.

Professional cleaning services are in high demand, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. So are drive-in movie theaters, as ordinary movie theaters are viewed as too unsafe in a time of social distancing.

Independent grocers are doing brisk business as well. Independent grocers are helping larger chains meet demand, said Greg Ferrara, president of the National Grocers Association, according to ABC News.

As bars remain shuttered, liquor and wine stores are doing brisk business as well.

Benzinga is covering every angle of how the coronavirus affects the financial world. For daily updates, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.

Coronavirus Triggers Gun Purchases

The run on guns and ammunition is the worst since the 2016 presidential elections, according to CNN.

The network citied Ammo.com, which said ammunition sales figures in Colorado are 1,000% higher than a month ago, while in Arizona and Ohio they are higher by 945% and 897%, respectively. Meanwhile, the Ammo.com website has a notice urging people to exercise patience “at this stressful time,” as ammunition orders are taking longer to process than usual.

Jigsaw Puzzles For Stay-At-Homers

Puzzles were on the list of top 10 items being searched for on Amazon.com, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AMZN) website as of last week.

The demand has outpaced that of Clorox Co’s (NYSE: CLX) wipes.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ravensburger AG, which is the world’s largest producer of jigsaw puzzles, has seen its North American sales rise 370% on a year-over-year basis during the past two weeks.

On March 26, the company’s sales shot 10 times higher compared with the year before.

“The demand is pretty infinite right now,” Filip Francke, chief executive of the company’s North America operations, told the Journal.“The challenge is to find ways to get it to consumers.”

Sales of other games like Sorry, Monopoly, Jenga and Clue have also been rising, according to CNBC. The games are manufactured by Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS).

Yeast To Leaven Home-Baked Bread 

Baking yeast sales grew by 647.3% in the week ending March 21 compared to growth of 253.8% in the week ending March 14, according to Nielsen data quoted by NPR.

People are launching new baking projects as they spend more time at home.

A combination of prepper mentalities and shortages of yeast have ended in making bread by harnessing bacteria.

Emily Hoven, a self-described “sourdough mom,” has started a sourdough thread for these difficult times, tweeting: “HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH AT THE END OF THE WORLD: A THREAD.”

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Times are stressful and people are looking after their health. Now that gyms are closed, Wall Street analysts favor home exercise companies such as Peloton Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ: PTON) and Mirror.

For those on a budget, yoga has become a favorite, with yoga mats now ranked high among best-selling products on Amazon, their average ranking having shot up from 32 to 18, according to thinknum.com, a provider of alternative data indexes.

See more from Benzinga

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.