Coronavirus Reportedly Causing Panic Buying of Hostess Twinkies and Ding Dongs

The coronavirus outbreak continues to have far-reaching impact as concerns over the virus' spread have seen economic impact via the stock market, interruptions for the entertainment industry, and even the cancellations of multiple high profile events such as Emerald City Comic Con and SXSW. Impact has also been felt at stores as well, with the worried public stocking up on various supplies but it turns out people aren't just buying bottled water, bleach, and hand sanitizer. They're buying up plenty of Twinkies and Ding Dongs, too.

According to Hostess Brands CEO Andy Callahan, the company is seeing a bump in sales of the popular snack cakes. The specific two types — Twinkies and Ding Dongs — are ones that are both perceived by some to have a long shelf life.

"We are seeing that," Callahan told Yahoo Finance. "We are benefitting likely in the short-term due to traffic. That's the great thing about Hostess, we are there to celebrate things. We are there to comfort things. So we are seeing a slight uptick in traffic. It's too early to tell, a lot of our point of sale data lags."

While snack cakes probably aren't the first thing people would consider as part of their "pandemic prep" -- the previously mentioned supplies such as water, hand sanitizer, and other essentials of daily life probably come more quickly to mind and are, indeed, selling out as infection rates continue to rise -- there is some logic to it. As various communities nationwide continue to suggest that people take precaution and avoid public gatherings staying home with snacks is certainly a viable option.

The coronavirus -- officially named SARS-CoV-2 -- was first detected in China in late 2019. Since its detection, the disease it causes (coronavirus disease 2019, aka COVID-19) has spread worldwide. COVID-19 has infected at least 250 people in the United States as of this writing, resulting in at least 15 deaths. Globally, more than 95,000 people have been infected with over 3,200 deaths.


In recent days, the outbreak has resulted in a number of cancellations and schedule changes. The latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, is seeing a delay in its release date due to coronavirus concerns while both Austin's SXSW and Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con have been cancelled due to the outbreak. Various companies, including Twitter, have shut down local offices to at least deep clean as new cases are confirmed.