The Girl Scouts are struggling to sell a plethora of extra cookies: 15 million boxes of them, to be exact.
Soldiers with a handful of cookies used to be a fixture outside grocery stores and at people’s doors. But this year, after the Girl Scouts of the United States faced two major hurdles during the pandemic, those cookies have been stuck in warehouses: memberships have plummeted, and Scouts have found ways to sell their normally in-person. had to leave.
Those problems left the national organization with millions of extra-thin mints, samosas and other signature treats. Of the 15 million surplus cookies, about 12 million never left bakery warehouses in Kentucky and Indiana, the Girl Scouts said in a statement Tuesday.
“Given that most cookies are sold in person by girls at booths or other face-to-face methods, a decrease in sales could have been expected,” Girl Scouts spokeswoman Kelly Paris said in the statement.
The organization sells approximately 200 million boxes per year at around $5 per box. The Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for over a century.
Individual soldiers sell cookies in their community, and earn Scout badges when they sell a certain number of boxes. Soldiers sell cookies at booths, at events, outside stores and online. Cookies are usually sold in the first four months of the year.
“It is very rare to have significant excess inventory, but the pandemic has greatly affected our cookie program,” Ms Paris said.
In the Midwest, Girl Scouts experienced a slight decline in sales this year. Cookie sales were down about 6 percent over the past year, according to Tish Bolger, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, as soldiers switched to a digital sales model.
Girls led by Ms. Bolger saw their proportion of online sales increase by 10 percent compared to last year, she said. But many people still bought cookies in person.
“People were looking for Girl Scout cookies,” said Ms. Bolger, “and when they found them, they were buying a lot of them.”
His soldiers still made less money this year than they did last year. Ms Bolger said membership numbers fell because the Girl Scouts could not enroll girls in schools.
“We saw a drop in revenue, and we had fewer girls selling cookies,” said Ms. Bolger.
Nationwide, Girl Scout membership has been declining for over a decade, so the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem for the organization.
“As states and local governments have opened back, we have seen membership rebound,” Ms Paris said.
Faced with declining sales, the Girl Scouts announced in January that they were teaming up with grubhu To sell and distribute cookies. The delivery service agreed to waive the fee it usually charges.
While this year’s surplus is much higher than usual, Ms Parisi said the organization tackled past cookie glutes by donating extra boxes to military or emergency medical workers.
And of course, Girl Scout cookies are available to citizens on the organization’s website. The organization introduced a new variety of cookies this year: Toast-yay!, they’re shaped like slices of toast and dipped in icing.