The Pioneer

Girl Scout Cookies production divided by two bakeries

Thamina Shah,
Contributor

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Now I’m sure you are all familiar with the little girls in green vests with badges, some more than others, approaching you with their sales pitch. For those living under a rock, I’m talking about a Girl Scout. The Girl Scouts organization is known for empowering girls and equipping them with life skills. Juliette Gordon Low, who had the idea to bring girls together to shape their ideals around character, confidence and courage, founded it in 1912. There is an emphasis on believing in yourself and what you are can contribute to society.

Being a member is not short term, as levels for a Girl Scout begin with starting as a brownie all the way to an Ambassador. The organization has been successful at creating a sisterhood. According to the Girl Scout website, there are currently 2.6 million members.

Girl Scouts are like little warriors who save the day with their delicious selection of cookies. Product wise, these cookies taste even better because of how exclusive they are. During the season the cookies go on sale, you may find Girl scouts posted at storefronts. On their website, there is an option to enter in your zip code to find the post nearest you.

The ranges of cookies that are offered cater to almost everyone. A few of my favorites along with popular items are the Samoas, Thin Mints, and Tagalongs. A new addition to the classic lineup is the S’more cookie. It became popular after debuting last year and proved to be one of the most popular launches in 100 years, according to the Girl Scout website. I have yet to try the S’more cookie, I tend to keep it basic with the Samoas, but the buzz around it makes it intriguing.

Everything sounds well and good but there’s a plot twist among all of this sugar. What if I told you that something you knew routinely was all about to change? You may feel a slight case of the “Mandela effect”, conspiracy theory centering vivid memories large groups of people recall, which have not actually happened. You may question that you are experiencing this after seeing some of your favorite cookies underwent a name change. Those cookies transitioned from – Samoas to Caramel deLightes, Tagalongs to Peanut butter patties, Trefoils to Shortbread, and Do-si-dos to Peanut butter sandwich. Sounds generic right?

For some it may be an adjusting period, to others they are loyal to the original name. Jamie Caron, a former Girl Scout Cadette, said “I thought the name change was weird. I wonder why they changed it. It’s not Samoa anymore. I’m assuming it tastes the same, the box looks the same.”

The name change can cause confusion for loyal customers. Certain boxes being sold will contain the original name, meanwhile there are other boxes floating around with the new name. It makes you wonder are older boxes being sold to clear inventory? Are certain people purchasing from new inventory?

The answer to that is there are two bakeries responsible for baking the cookies – ABC Bakers, based in Richmond, Virginia and Little Brownie Bakers, based in Louisville, Kentucky. According to ABC Bakers website, they have been servicing Girl Scout’s since 1937. They stand for sustainability by replacing packaging for top-selling items to more eco-friendly. They also use palm oil in the production of their cookies. On the other hand, Little Brownie Bakers have been servicing Girl Scouts for over 35 years. According to Little Brownie Bakers website, they contribute to Girl Scout as well as generate income for troops and councils.

The demand for Girl Scout cookies is substantial throughout the nation. To be able to meet operation goals by the time the cookies go on sale, there needs to be at least two bakeries supporting this demand. According to Business Insider, “Each year, Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes, which equates to $800 million worth. The most popular cookie, Thin Mints make up 25% of the entire sales, which is $200 million.” There is a huge profit at stake if the amounts of boxes are not delivered.

Interestingly enough, the Thin Mints are the most popular cookie that managed to keep its name despite being produced by both bakeries. If looked at side by side, there is a notable difference in texture – one having the chocolate coating smoother over the other, but taste wise they have been noted to be similar.

A personal tip to maximize your thin mint experience, is to try freezing away some of your cookies. It will stretch out the freshness period of them, that way by the time you run out, it’s already cookie season again. It tastes best when crumbled on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Despite Girl Scouts having two bakers licensed to provide cookies for them, they have the same goal and that is to empower young girls to change the world.

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Girl Scout Cookies production divided by two bakeries