by Lindsey Rosenblatt
Photography courtesy of girl scouts.org
The seasons are changing. As we move from winter to spring, America’s favorite transitional season is here: Girl Scout Cookie season! It’s the time of year when there’s no escape from tables covered in boxes of delectable cookies, readily available in all locations. And of course, the cute, young Girl Scouts practicing their good sales tactics.
Forget about dieting for summer—these cookies are gawked about for the 3 months of the year they are in season and have become a national staple.
“I feel the same about Girl Scout Cookies since when I sold them when I was younger,” said Jenni Rudman (CGS ’21). “I think they’re amazing. I still ask my mom to buy them for me.”
Selling Girl Scout Cookies dates all the way back to 1917, when only the simple sugar cookie was available (made with seven ingredients), starting at twenty-three cents per box. By 1951, Girl Scout Cookies’ flavors varied from sandwich, shortbread and chocolate mint.
Now in 2018, although the red-carpet stars are known to be Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs, there are twelve distinct flavors of Girl Scout Cookies.
Current Los Angeles Girl Scout, Emma Shpall, said she enjoys selling the cookies. The funds collected from the cookie sales support the local troop to provide new adventures for the girls.
“It’s nice to sell the cookies and see the excitement from people walking by,” said Shpall. The funds help my Gold Award Project which is my final project as a Girl Scout.”
Ex-Girl Scout, Ava Nouri-Mahdavi, who participated in selling cookies for over five years, saw first-hand the dominant effect Girl Scout Cookies have over the cookie market.
“People love our cookies. I felt so cool when I sold it because we got so much attention,” said Nouri-Mahdavi (UC-Berkeley ’21).
No matter what age, Girl Scout Cookies never seem to go out of style. Although college students tend to be swamped with other obligations, it does not stop a busy student from venturing to the nearest Girl Scout table.
A few weeks ago, Boston University’s Kappa Delta Chapter worked alongside local Girl Scouts and sold the infamous cookies right in the GSU. According to the Vice President of Community Service in Kappa Delta, in four days, each troop sold around 300-400 boxes each day.
Girl Scouts clearly have America eating from their palms when it comes to the cookie industry. Due to their popularity, other large food industries are becoming inspired by the cookies and re-inventing them into other forms of deliciousness.
Recently, Dunkin’ Donuts released a new line of coffee flavors modeled after the three most popular Girl Scout Cookies: Thin Mints, Coconut Carmel, and Peanut Butter Cookie.
“The Thin Mint and Peanut Butter Cookie coffee flavors are our best sellers. They all actually taste just like the original cookie. It is so good,” said a Dunkin’ Donuts employee (West Campus location).
Along with Dunkin’ Donuts, Girl Scout cookies have been re-interpreted into flavors for Yogplait yogurts, Pillsubry cake mixes, Quaker granola bars and even cereal.
“I don’t think anything will beat the actual, original cookie,” said Nouri-Mahdavi. “But for some people who don’t want a cookie, but want the same taste of comfort and familiarity, these companies’ products will be a good alternative.”
Just like pumpkin spice lattes in the fall, nothing will beat the original, unique Girl Scout Cookies sold outside local supermarkets that caught the attention of American food shoppers in the first place.
“No one can recreate these cookies. They are very unique. They all have very distinct flavor profiles. It’s not a simple chocolate chip cookie,” said Nouri-Mahdavi.
If the franchising of Girl Scout Cookies is too overwhelming, there is no need to worry. There are still ways to get creative with Girl Scout Cookie consumption by buying the original cookies. Girl Scouts of the United States offers recipes for more complex desserts that include their own cookies as a primary ingredient.
Or, spend a day in the kitchen and become a Girl Scout Cookie expert by making Samoa truffles.
And, if for some reason you missed the local sale, Girl Scout Cookies can be shipped to any location via Amazon Prime within two days.
America owes a thank you to Girl Scouts, because who knew a chocolate coconut cookie and a minty fresh cookie would consume the minds and appetites of so many Americans.