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Girl Scout Cookies can be purchased only from girls participating in Girl Scouts and only during your local council's cookie season. To find cookies and learn when cookie season starts in your community, simply enter your zip code in the Find Cookies! search box. Use the zip code locator to learn when cookies go on sale and where booth sales may be happening.
You can also call your local Girl Scout council. You can find its phone number(s), website, Facebook page, and Twitter account on the Council Finder page of our website. If you call your council, volunteers or staff there can help you find a cookie booth or a Girl Scout group near you. A council conducts only one cookie sale per year. Most of these activities take place between January and April, but some occur as early as September.
Finally, try our free mobile Cookie Finder app for your iPhone® or Android® phone. You can search for cookie sales in your neighborhood, get details on your favorite Girl Scout Cookies, and use social media to learn more and tell your friends.
Girl Scouts of the USA realizes that Girl Scouts and their loyal cookie customers would like to have the option of selling and buying cookies online, and we hope to expand online and mobile offerings to more girls and consumers in future cookie seasons. We are committed to moving responsibly in this direction, with the top priority being girl safety, and while continuing to help girls develop critical and relevant entrepreneurship skills in the process.
Girl Scouts of the USA is presently conducting limited tests to engage girls and consumers in online and mobile Girl Scout Cookie Program experiences. In 2014, two Girl Scout councils—in Houston, Texas, and Minneapolis, Minnesota—will offer girls the ability to sell cookies online and from mobile handheld devices. This new sales channel is only available to selected girls and troops within the jurisdiction of the participating councils. Use the Find Cookies! search box to help you find Girl Scouts selling cookies and to learn more about how girls are participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program in your local community.
Girls and their families may employ online marketing tactics to let their contacts know that it's cookie season. An example of an appropriate marketing tactic is for a girl (aged 13 years or older) or her parent to let friends and family know to contact the Girl Scout directly to arrange a cookie purchase. Also, many Girl Scout councils allow girls to collect "order promises" online. Order promises do not include the ability to pay for the cookies online.Cookies found for sale online at auction and community list sites should not be purchased under any circumstances, as GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, and our licensed cookie bakers cannot guarantee the freshness or integrity of these cookies. Further, purchasing cookies in this way does not support Girl Scouts participating in the cookie program.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the premier entrepreneurship opportunity for girls, but it is just one part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts participate in many activities throughout the year and work on many projects. The cookie sale is just one of those activities. And because only girls may sell Girl Scout Cookies, their market availability is limited to the six- to eight-week period when they are engaged in the program in their local council.
Contact the cookie baker if for any reason you aren't satisfied with a package of Girl Scout Cookies you purchased. The baker contact information is listed on each package.
Every Girl Scout cookie package is stamped with a seasonal "Use or freeze by" date. That date corresponds with the end of each cookie season. This means that Girl Scout Cookies with a date of September 2014 were baked for the 2013–2014 season.
Girl Scout Cookies are sold by weight, not by size or number. The number and size of cookies vary by variety and by baker. This information is featured on every package.
Packages of Girl Scout Cookies sell for different prices in different areas of the country. Each of the 112 Girl Scout councils sets its own price, based on its needs and its knowledge of the local market. Today's prices reflect both the current cost of cookies and the realities of providing Girl Scout activities in an ever-changing economic environment. Up to 75 percent of the price of every package goes directly to Girl Scouts in your local area. To find out which local council serves your area, use the Find Cookies! search box.
Currently, two commercial bakers are licensed by Girl Scouts of the USA to produce Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.
Each Girl Scout council chooses a licensed baker, either ABC Bakers or Little Brownie Bakers. Each baker uses different names for its cookies. So a cookie may be called Trefoils when baked by one baker and Shortbread when baked by the other. The two cookies look and taste similar, but the name of the cookie and the recipe are dependent on the baker. The exception is Thin Mints, which is the name both bakers use to describe their chocolate-mint cookie.
Cookie ingredients, nutritional information, and allergen information are clearly listed on both the cookie package and the cookie order form. Additionally, this information can be found in the Meet the Cookies section of the Girl Scout website.
With special regard for allergen concerns, our bakers bake Girl Scout Cookies in state-of-the-art facilities, and consumers can be assured that every required safety protocol is adhered to in order to prevent cross-contamination of ingredients. Consumers with additional questions can find out more by visiting the baker websites, www.abcsmartcookies.com or www.littlebrownie.com.
The licensed bakers may offer up to eight varieties of Girl Scout Cookies. Only three types are mandatory: Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-Si-Dos, and Shortbread/Trefoils. Girl Scouts of the USA reviews and approves the varieties proposed by the bakers. Any of the five optional cookies can be changed every year.
To see a listing of all current varieties of Girl Scout Cookies, along with pictures and descriptions, go to Meet the Cookies.
Half of the Girl Scout councils served by Little Brownie Bakers are taking part in the "Super Six" initiative and selling the core five favorite Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, and Trefoils) and Savannah Smiles. Research shows that these core varieties appeal to the vast majority of customers. This initiative has been very successful and well received by both Girl Scout members and cookie consumers. The primary benefit to the participating Girl Scout councils is better management of cookie inventory and a way to streamline the sale process for girls and volunteers.
Yes. All Girl Scout Cookies are kosher.
The top sellers are (percentage of total 2011–12 sales):
The other varieties, combined, account for the remaining 23 percent.
All of the girls pictured on the packages are registered Girl Scouts. Every package shows Girl Scouts in action and participating in real Girl Scout program activities.
Girl Scouts of the USA is proud that all Girl Scout Cookies have "zero trans fat per serving," with the same great taste that has made them one of America's favorite treats over the years. All varieties contain less than 0.5 grams trans fat per serving, which meets the FDA guidelines for the "zero trans fat" designation. Selected varieties can claim 100 percent trans fat–free status, meaning there's not a speck of trans fat in the whole package. For a list of specific cookie ingredients, please see Meet the Cookies.
Our licensed bakers use a variety of ingredients in the production of Girl Scout Cookies, including, in some cookies, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Currently, Little Brownie Bakers does not use HFCS in any of its cookie varieties.
We trust our bakers, who are industry leaders, to develop recipes using ingredients that will produce the best-tasting and highest-quality cookies while simultaneously addressing industry trends, scientific trends, and of course, consumer preference. For a list of specific cookie ingredients, please see Meet the Cookies.
Palm oil is an ingredient found in the majority of baked snacks sold in the United States. GSUSA's licensed bakers tell us it continues to be necessary to use palm oil in our cookies to ensure shelf life, to offer customers the highest quality, and to serve as an alternative to trans fats. One of the primary goals of our Girl Scout cookie bakers is to create the best-tasting cookies possible using the healthiest ingredients available.
The world's food supply is intricately tied to the use of palm oil, so we believe promoting sustainable manufacturing principles is the most responsible approach for Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scouts has an opportunity to use our strong voice to bring about positive change on this very important issue, and GSUSA and our bakers have made the following commitments:
American palm oil use represents approximately 2 percent of total global consumption, and palm oil used in Girl Scout Cookies represents a tiny fraction of that. Thanks to the encouragement of and partnership with Girl Scout members, we and our bakers have realized the power of the Girl Scout brand to make a positive difference in the move toward sustainably produced palm oil.
The GreenPalm logo on the Girl Scout cookie package signifies a commitment by Girl Scouts and our licensed bakers to developing a worldwide supply of sustainable palm oil. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to assure a fully sustainable supply in the quantities required by our bakers. The GreenPalm investment supports farmers' initiatives to become sustainable. The presence of the GreenPalm logo on the cookie package provides assurance to consumers and our members that our bakers have purchased enough GreenPalm certificates to offset 100 percent of the palm oil used in Girl Scout Cookies. Visit www.greenpalm.org to learn more about GreenPalm certificates.
Sustainability refers to social, environmental, and economic factors that an organization addresses to provide value not only to consumers, but also to the world. Girl Scouts are very proud of the initiatives our licensed bakers report on annually in terms of their corporate sustainability and social responsibility. The Girl Scout commitment to "make the world a better place" is a tenet we and our licensed bakers take very seriously.
Our licensed cookie bakers are actively working with their suppliers to ensure that the cocoa used in Girl Scout Cookies is responsibly sourced. Our bakers are required to provide assurance that cocoa sourced for Girl Scout Cookies is child- and slave-labor free. In order to provide this assurance, our bakers require compliance from their cocoa suppliers through strict supplier codes of conduct. Our bakers are also working with third-party organizations focused on creating a sustainable marketplace that rewards cocoa farmers who prohibit unethical practices.
GSUSA understands that in spite of the best efforts of our manufacturers and the ongoing work by their suppliers, we also have a responsibility to provide leadership on the topic of slave labor and human trafficking. We are committed to using our powerful voice and brand wherever possible to affect change in this area.
At the current time, there are genetically modified agricultural crops (GMOs) in Girl Scout Cookies. Our bakers determine whether to use GMOs in Girl Scout Cookies based on a range of market-related factors and depending on the specific cookie recipe.
Girl Scouts recognizes that many people have concerns regarding GMO ingredients, and we monitor member and consumer opinion on this matter. It is important to note that there is worldwide scientific support for the safety of currently commercialized ingredients derived from genetically modified agricultural crops. The World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Medical Association all share this assessment. In addition, in the future, GMOs may offer a way to help feed an ever-increasing world population.
According to the American Dietetic Association, most people with diabetes can enjoy sugars in moderation as a part of their meal plans, depending on blood glucose control and body weight. We encourage consumers who are concerned about sugar intake to discuss dietary options with a doctor or registered dietitian.
For consumer convenience, each of our licensed bakers lists dietary exchanges on the cookie package and the cookie order form, so people with diabetes and parents of children with diabetes can make informed choices. The amount of sugar and carbohydrates is also listed on the box. Dietary exchanges should always be consulted, even if a product is labeled "sugarless." With regard to labeling, terms such as "sugar free" or "sugarless" are not synonymous with "diabetic-friendly," owing to the carbohydrates.
Girl Scout Cookies are sold for a short time every year and are considered a snack or special treat. As with all treats, they should be enjoyed in moderation.
Starting with our youngest members, the Girl Scout organization promotes a healthy lifestyle for girls, which includes a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Our health and fitness programs encourage girls to adopt healthy fitness and eating habits early in life and to continue them into adulthood. Girls are also taught to consider ingredients and portion size when choosing snacks.
The Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) released a research review entitled Weighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow that addresses various underlying causes that have led to the epidemic of obesity and of being overweight among children and adolescents and the lifestyles, culture, and behavior that have contributed to this condition. Read more about this research review.
Girl Scout Cookies are produced only once a year and for a limited time, so our bakers generally don't achieve the volume required to support the production of specialty cookies. The demand has not been great enough to make it economically feasible; however, our bakers continue to experiment and have a commitment to ensuring there is always a "healthful" cookie in their line-up.
Each of our bakers strives to use the most healthful ingredients available in the production of one of America's most treasured sweet treats. Check the labels of all the products you eat, including Girl Scout Cookies. You may just find a variety that fits within your dietary restrictions or goals.
In 2013–14, ABC Bakers is conducting a limited pilot of the Girl Scout Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie, and 20 Girl Scout councils have chosen to offer it. This special cookie is only available in areas where ABC Bakers is the licensed Girl Scout cookie baker, and councils have agreed to test-market it. The cookie will be sold at booth sales only, rather than featured on the order card.
For more information about the Girl Scout Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie, visit the ABC Bakers website.
Girl Scout cookie packages are intended to be recyclable, but it depends on your local recycling service whether the packaging can be accepted.
ABC Bakers produces several Girl Scout cookie varieties that are available in soft-pack only, and without a paperboard package cover. The film overwrap is similar to the protective wrapping found inside all cookie varieties, and is recyclable. Film overwrap packaging is currently the "greenest" packaging available for Girl Scout Cookies, eliminating thousands of pounds of paperboard from the waste stream.
All girl members may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Although parents and Girl Scout adults may assist, it is the girl who makes the sale, sets learning and sales goals, and learns the entrepreneurial skills that are part of the program. Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is voluntary.
Girl Scout product sales offer girls a great way to finance their Girl Scout activities and special projects. Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is voluntary and requires written permission by a parent or guardian. Annually, about 65 percent of registered Girl Scouts choose to participate in the program.
Yes! To do so, registered Girl Scouts must abide by guidelines published by Girl Scouts of the USA and the local Girl Scout council, and be supervised by a council-trained adult. For more information about how Girl Scouts in your area can participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, please contact your local Girl Scout council.
Each Girl Scout council determines its precise method of helping local Girl Scouts sell cookies to local customers. Cookies can generally be purchased through the following types of sales technique, or hybrid thereof:
Girl Scouts participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program may only sell cookies according to their Girl Scout council's policies and procedures, and within the council's published sales timeframe.
The safety and security of our members is always our chief concern. We have strict safety guidelines. Girl Scouts, depending on their age, must be accompanied or supervised by an adult when selling Girl Scout Cookies and must always use the buddy system. Girls who are participating in online marketing initiatives must read and discuss the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge. Girls print out the pledge and ask their parents (or guardians) to read and sign the pledge together.
Girls may earn the official Cookie Business badge and the Financial Literacy badges at every level of Girl Scouting. Girls may also earn the annual Cookie Activity pin. Badges are earned based on completing established program activities. Separately, girls can also earn rewards based on their sales activity, such as recognition items and program credits. Please contact your local Girl Scout council to learn more about the rewards established for girls in your community.
Girls may participate in a council-approved "Gift of Caring" or "Cookie Share" program that allows girls to collect donations of cookies for military personnel serving overseas. Any gifts in quantity to military overseas should be coordinated through the military or related personnel at both the place of origin and the place of receipt. Large shipments should be coordinated by the local Girl Scout council to assure that the cookies arrive where intended. Gifts should not be sent to U.S. bases or bases overseas where USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO) is involved in product sales. Girl Scouts should observe council jurisdiction when selling or marketing product for a gifting program.
To ensure freshness, Girl Scouts only sell cookies produced for the current season. Therefore, if a council or troop has cookies left at the end of the sale, they are encouraged to work with local food pantries and other charitable organizations to distribute cookies as a special treat for people seeking food relief services. GSUSA works with our licensed bakers to ensure that they too have an annual plan for responsibly managing leftover cookie inventory.
All of the revenue earned from cookie activities—every penny after paying the baker—stays with the local Girl Scout council. Each council determines its own revenue structure depending on its cookie cost, local retail price, and the amount that is shared with participating troops and groups. On average, Girl Scout council net revenue is approximately 65–75 percent of the local retail price, and the amount that is shared with participating Girl Scout troops and groups, referred to as troop proceeds, is approximately 10–20 percent of the local retail price. Cookie program revenue is a critical source of funding for local Girl Scout councils, and it is often what makes it possible to serve girls in hard-to-serve areas, and maintain camps and properties.
Girl Scout troops and groups must pool their proceeds to pay for program supplies, activities, and group travel. Girl Scouts may not earn proceeds as individuals; however, Girl Scout councils offer a wide variety of recognition items, program- and store-related credits, and travel experiences that girls are eligible to earn individually based on their sales. All troop proceeds and other rewards earned through participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program must be used to enhance each girl's Girl Scout experience.
Girl Scouts of the USA is paid a royalty by its licensed bakers for use of Girl Scout trademarks based on gross annual sales. Girl Scout councils do not provide any portion of their cookie revenue to Girl Scouts of the USA, and no other revenue from cookie sales goes to Girl Scouts of the USA.
Girl Scouts of the USA provides contractual services and approves all program, marketing, and sales materials developed by the bakers. GSUSA also provides coordination and training for national media activities, safety standards for girls and volunteers, our world-renowned girl-leadership program, and full support during cookie season.
One hundred percent of the net revenue raised through the Girl Scout Cookie Program stays with the local council and troops. This does not preclude Girl Scouts from spending their proceeds on program-related activities, such as paying their own way to a community event or museum, or funding other programmatic outings. Girl Scouts may also choose to use proceeds to purchase materials for a Take Action project to benefit the community.
Girl Scouts of the USA has national licensing agreements with selected companies to include Girl Scout Cookies in their products. Girl Scouts of the USA is the only entity who may enter into such an agreement. At the point an agreement is reached, our licensed bakers have the opportunity to work directly with companies to provide cookies in bulk. For further information about rules and regulations relating to the Girl Scout brand and for inquiries regarding the use of Girl Scout Cookies in products, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.