The outbreak of Covid-19 has dramatically changed the way of life for billions of people around the world. After the initial panic buying phase, consumers have been branching out and spending their money on some very specific non-essential products. Here are 5 product categories that have seen skyrocketing sales since the start of the outbreak. For the savvy entrepreneur, some of these product categories may present big opportunities.

1. Puzzles and Games

With people stuck indoors, the demand for board games and jigsaw puzzles has soared. “Around the second week of March, we noticed sales at one of our largest retail customers were up 300% over the same week the previous year,” says Carol Glazer, president of Ceaco. The Massachusetts company is one of the largest producers of jigsaw puzzles and family games in the U.S.. President Trump even recognized the demand for puzzles and has subsequently begun selling Trump puzzles for $35.00 on his campaign website.

2. Cooking Accessories

Lots of people have been forced to cook for themselves during the Covid-19 shutdown. Apparently, tons people have decided to use this as an opportunity to buy fun new kitchen accessories. Bread machines have actually been one of the highest selling products on Amazon in the last several weeks – up 652% from this time in 2019. This new found interest in cooking will probably stick around for some time even after restaurants begin to reopen.

3. Home Exercise Equipment

With gyms closed and some cities around the world limiting outdoor exercise to specific early morning hours, it is not a huge surprise that home workout products like weights and fitness equipment have skyrocketed in recent weeks. With home workouts on the rise, some reports indicate that activewear has also seen a boost in sales (at least online).

4. Pajamas & Leisure Wear

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, online apparel sales increased 34% year over year March 12-April 11 compared with March 1-12, according to Adobe Analytics. Comfortable clothes are the driving force behind this increase, as pajama sales increased 143%. Other apparel categories like pants sales dropped 13% and jackets dropped 33%.

According to Criteo, casual apparel like sweatpants and other types of leisurewear have seen online sales increase by as much as 340%. With so many people working from home, this buying behavior makes sense. Many brands were quick to recognize this trend and have pivoted their messaging to promote comfort over everything else.


Vogue Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour, pictured working at home in a comfy sweater and sweatpants

5. Sanitation / Personal Protective Products

This one is obvious, but worth mentioning. We all know that practically everything related to cleaning and sanitization has flown off the shelves during the outbreak. Some companies have been able to pivot in creative ways in order to capitalize on this trend. For example, many distilleries around the U.S. have shifted to producing hand sanitizer. Other companies, like Utah outdoor apparel company Coalatree, have converted unused fabric into face masks. Having a clean environment and wearing personal protective gear will likely continue to be a trend well into the future.


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