Did you miss your annual splurge of Thin Mints this year? Were you not accosted by cute little girls in Girl Scout uniforms as you entered your neighborhood grocery store? You’ve been working from home so no colleague of yours had a sign-up sheet to order cookies from a daughter’s Girl Scout troop?
The Covid-19 pandemic took its toll on the Girl Scouts. Membership in the venerable organization is down. In 2021, Girl Scouts of USA projected reduced sales. Even so, orders from the local councils were overly optimistic. The cookie season finished with 15 million unsold boxes.
For more than a century local Girl Scout troops have funded programs, travel, camps and other activities with their yearly cookie sale. The annual promotion typically sells 200 million boxes, bringing in $800 million.
For safety, there was very little person-to-person selling this year. Local scout councils tried taking orders on-line, drive-thru sales, even partnering with GrubHub.
As if the fear of Covid were not enough, in some areas cookie sales suffered from boycotts of products made with palm oil. News stories had linked palm oil with child labor.
Girl Scouts of USA is working with their two cookie bakers to sell or donate excess cookies to food banks, the military or prisons.
They are hopeful for a better season next year. ”Girl Scout cookie season isn’t just when you get to buy cookies,” said one leader. “It’s interacting with the girls. It’s Americana.”