'Coronavirus economy' springing up as companies stand to profit from fear
Protective mask on young woman (Shutterstock)

The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus has sent stocks into a tumble, with many industries that involve travel, hospitality, or public recreation bracing to lose billions of dollars.


On the flipside, however, some industries stand to profit from the chaos and uncertainty — and on Thursday, Axios reported on who some of the beneficiaries will be.

"Peloton, whose home exercise bikes save people trips to germ-laden gyms, briefly saw its shares spike amid the broader market's sell-off," said the report. "B&G Foods, which makes long-lasting pantry goods including B&M canned beans and Cream of Wheat, has caught relative favor with investors, as has comfort food producer J.M. Smucker, which makes peanut butter and jelly." And "Clorox's bleach and disinfectant wipes are being piled into shopping carts across the country."

There is also a demand for medical face masks that far outstrips supply — even though experts have repeatedly said wearing a face mask is pointless unless you yourself have coronavirus.

All of this means that many retailers are seeing their business booming.

"Instead of one 8-hour shift, retailers are adding a 2nd or 3rd shift to do 24-hour around the clock deliveries to get products people need for maximum safety," said retail consultant Burt Flickinger.