10 growth areas in the current climate
Last mile logistics, food delivery and health products all on the up
The pandemic, and the quarantine measures put in place to control it, have transformed the global economy in a matter of weeks. Although, many industries have been disrupted by the pandemic, many others are seeing a growth in demand.
Last mile logistics
With online retailers shipping goods directly to customers, businesses must expand their infrastructure for trucking, warehousing, parcel delivery, fulfilment centres and security. Warehouse workers must stay on the job and even increase the workforce; Amazon said it is hiring 100,000 new workers to beef up its shipping operations, but many of its orders will still be delayed.
There has been a surge in demand for home food delivery with more and more people staying indoors and practicing social distancing. Delivery services like Deliveroo, Postmates and UberEats are all experiencing increased demand for their services and have taken steps like offering contactless delivery to protect customers and delivery drivers. This trend towards contactless delivery has created a unique opportunity for delivery robot companies to put their technology to the test. Driverless delivery startup Neolix Technologies recently announced it has raised nearly $28.7 million to mass produce its self-driving vehicles.
The crisis has created a sudden demand for hand sanitizer among businesses, hospitals, and personal consumers. The shortage has led many businesses to shift their operations quickly to meet the demand; in Ireland, a number of alcohol distilleries switched to producing hand sanitiser in a matter of weeks.
Home and Garden
Hardware stores are seeing unprecedented demand for tools and hardware supplies as consumers in self-isolation use the time to complete home improvement projects.
With most gyms closed and the virus keeping everyone indoors, consumers are turning to home equipment, exercise bikes, weights, personal fitness trackers and other gear to stay fit while confined. Personal trainers are offering e-fitness courses, and online retailers report running out of exercise equipment.
Concerns over the spread of coronavirus has led to increased interest in ultraviolet LED technology which can be used to kill influenza germs and sterilize surfaces, leading companies like GermFalcon and Viosys to benefit from this opportunity.
With hospitals overstretched by the crisis and mild cases of COVID-19 treatable with paracetamol and other common drugs, pharmacies and other retailers will have to keep well stocked. Also, other health problems don't stop for a pandemic, and people have all the same diseases they would ordinarily have, with the same demand for pharmaceuticals.
As consumers prepare for weeks of isolation, many are stocking up on packaged foods, and companies like General Mills are increasing production to meet the demand. Nielsen reported that "comfort food" sales are spiking, with pastry purchases up almost 20%.
Drug companies around the world are scrambling, not just to find a vaccine for COVID-19, but to supply drugs that would treat the symptoms. Companies like Eli Lily, Moderna and Gilead Sciences saw their stocks shoot up once they began working on cures for the pandemic.
More people are engaging with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in order to stay in contact with friends and family while in self-isolation. Popular video sharing app TikTok has seen an uptake in users as people use it to vent and share their experiences of how Covid19 has impacted their lives.