National Girl Scout Cookie Day FAQ, General Cookie FAQ
For more information, please visit: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/faq.asp
What is National Girl Scout Cookie Day?
National Girl Scout Cookie Day is a Movement-wide effort to raise awareness of the skills girls learn through the Girl Scout Cookie Program and to boost sales nationwide.
Why create a National Girl Scout Cookie Day?
We see the opportunity to increase revenues nationwide and change the dialogue about Girl Scout Cookies by speaking as a Movement with one voice at one time. Many local councils have recognized this opportunity over the years and have asked us to create a coordinated effort to promote the cookie program.
Why was February 8 chosen?
Discussions with our licensed bakers, the GSUSA cookie team, and a number of councils pointed to February 8 as a promising day to reach a maximum number of potential customers.
When do Girl Scout Cookies go on sale and how do I find them?
Girl Scout Cookies can be purchased only from girls and only during cookie season. To find cookies and learn when cookie season starts in your community, simply enter your zip code above in the Find Cookies! search box. Use the zip code locator to learn when cookies go on sale and where booth sales may be located.
You can also call your local Girl Scout council. You can find its phone number(s), website, Facebook page, and Twitter account at http://www.girlscouts.org/councilfinder. If you call your council, volunteers or staff there can help you find a cookie booth or a Girl Scout group near you.
Finally, try our new 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 get updates on cookies via social media.
Selling Girl Scout Cookies is an important component of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for girls. Each Girl Scout council develops the procedures and guidelines for its cookie activities, including the dates when you can order or purchase cookies and the price you will pay per package. 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.
Can I buy Girl Scout Cookies online?
Although Girl Scouts of the USA does not currently allow online sales of Girl Scout Cookies, we are presently researching how to make it possible for girls to engage consumers in online sales, while continuing to help them develop critical and relevant entrepreneurship skills in the process. Use the Find Cookies! search box above to help you find cookies in your local community.
Cookies found for sale online at auction and community list sites should not be purchased under any circumstances, as neither GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, nor our licensed bakers can guarantee the freshness or origination of these cookies. Further, purchasing cookies in this way does not support girls' 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. Cookies are just one of those activities. And because only girls may sell Girl Scout Cookies, their market availability is limited to the 6−8-week period when they are engaged in the program.
Who bakes Girl Scout Cookies?
Currently, two commercial bakers are licensed by Girl Scouts of the USA to produce Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.
Why are my Caramel DeLites now called a Samoas? Why are my Trefoils now called Shortbread?
Each Girl Scout council chooses a licensed baker, either Little Brownie Bakers or ABC Bakers, and 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 may look and taste similar, but the name of the cookie is dependent on the baker. The exception is Thin Mints, which is a name shared by both bakers.
What are the bestselling Girl Scout Cookies?
The biggest sellers are:
Thin Mints − 25 percent
Samoas/Caramel deLites − 19 percent
Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs − 13 percent
Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos − 11 percent
Shortbread/Trefoils − 9 percent
The other varieties, combined, account for the remaining 23 percent.
Why is palm oil used in Girl Scout 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 bring you the highest-quality cookies, 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. While we continue to explore other alternatives, at this time, there are no viable or readily available alternatives on the market.
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:
- To follow best practices set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization of growers, buyers, manufacturers, conservationists, and other interested parties who are striving to ensure sustainability. GSUSA and our licensed bakers are members of—and our bakers source palm oil exclusively from—RSPO.
- To continue our investment in GreenPalm certificates. The certificates purchased by our bakers cover 100 percent of the palm oil used in Girl Scout Cookies, and they offer a premium price to palm-oil producers who are operating within the guidelines for social, environmental, and economic responsibility set by the RSPO.
- To join other industry leaders in making a pledge to move to a segregated, certified sustainable palm oil source by 2015, based on market availability.
- To commit to using as little palm oil as possible in Girl Scout Cookies and continuing the research into viable alternatives.
Please visit www.littlebrownie.com or www.abcsmartcookies.com to read more on the bakers' published statements and positions on palm oil. 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 from 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.
What is that GreenPalm logo on the side of the Girl Scout Cookie package?
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 nearly impossible to assure a fully sustainable supply in the quantities required by our bakers, so the GreenPalm investment supports farmers' initiatives to become sustainable. Our ability to put 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.
Does the chocolate used in Girl Scout Cookies come from cacao beans picked by children?
Our licensed bakers continue to work with their primary chocolate suppliers and with the Chocolate Manufacturer's Association (CMA)—of which both licensed bakers are members—on issues of slavery and abusive child labor as it relates to the production and purchase of chocolate. The chocolate suppliers and the CMA strongly condemn the use of slavery and abusive labor practices. Their goal is to support the governments and advocacy groups that will make a difference in the lives of the cacao farmers, as well as to give assurances to consumers that the cocoa has been farmed under appropriate working conditions.
How does Girl Scouts ensure the safety of girls who sell cookies?
The safety and security of our members is always our chief concern, so 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 (not online sales) must read and discuss with their parents the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge. Girls then print out the pledge and have their parents (or guardians) sign it.
Can Girl Scouts donate cookies to military personnel serving overseas?
Girls may participate in a council-approved "gift of caring" 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) are involved in product sales. Girl Scouts should observe council jurisdiction when selling or marketing product for a gifting program.
Where does my money go when I buy Girl Scout Cookies?
With every purchase, approximately 70 percent of the proceeds stays in the local Girl Scout council and with troops to provide a portion of the resources needed to support Girl Scouting in that area, including the portion that goes directly to the group selling the cookies. The balance goes to the baker to pay for the cookies.
Does any of the money from cookie sales go to Girl Scouts of the USA (the national Girl Scouts organization)?
Girl Scouts of the USA is paid a royalty for use of the licensed trademarks by its licensed bakers based on gross annual sales volume. 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, safety standards for girls and volunteers, our world-renowned girl-leadership program, and full support during cookie season.
How does cookie revenue benefit girls?
All the revenue earned from cookie activities—every penny after paying the baker—stays with the local Girl Scout council that sponsors the sale. This includes the portion that goes directly to the group selling cookies. Councils use cookie revenue to supply essential services to troops, groups, and individual girls, such as providing program resources and communication support, training adult volunteers, and conducting events.
Does any part of the cookie revenue go to support organizations other than Girl Scouts?
None of the money earned from any Girl Scout council−sponsored cookie sale is given to any other group. This does not preclude girls from spending their money locally on program-related activities, such as paying their own way to a community event or museum or funding other programmatic outings. Girls may also choose to use money earned through product activities to purchase materials for a Take Action project that will benefit the community.
All the revenue from all Girl Scout Cooke Program activities supports the local Girl Scout council where the cookies are sold, including a portion that goes directly to the group selling cookies. The purpose of the cookie sale is to help girls develop a wide range of skills and generate revenue to support Girl Scouting locally.