Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-06-14 16:30:07 –

Girl Scouts have a rare problem this year. 15 million boxes of unsold cookies.

The 109-year-old organization states that the main cause is the coronavirus, which is not in low demand for symmint. As the pandemic entered the spring sales season, many troops broke traditional cookie booths for safety reasons.

“This is unfortunate, but it was as expected given that it was a girl-led program and most of the cookies were sold directly,” said Girl Scouts of Japan spokeswoman Kelly Parisi. I am.

The impact is felt by local governments and the military that rely on the sale of cookies to fund programming, travel, camping and other activities. Girl Scouts typically sell about 200 million boxes of cookies annually, or about $ 800 million worth of cookies.

Rebecca Latham, CEO of Girl Scouts on the New Mexico Trail, has her council at the end of the late spring sales season, despite girls trying out innovative sales methods such as drive-through booths and contactless delivery. Said that there are 22,000 boxes left.

Latham said her local army sold 805,000 boxes of cookies last year. This year’s sales were just under 600,000. That shortage means that the council may not be able to invest in improving infrastructure or fill some staff positions at the camp, she said.

Related | Girl Scouts in the LA area will be creative to sell their favorite treats during a pandemic

The council is now encouraging people to buy boxes online through the Hometown Heroes program, which distributes cookies to healthcare professionals, firefighters and others. We also organized daily sales with organizations such as the New Mexico United soccer team to further reduce totals.

According to Parisi, the Girl Scouts of Japan predicts that the pandemic will reduce sales this year. However, coronavirus limits are constantly changing, and 111 local councils made cookie orders with bakeries last fall were still too optimistic.

By early spring, US coronavirus cases were still nearing their peak when the military set up booths to sell cookies directly. Hundreds of girls chose not to sell cookies directly. Even online sales and shipping partnerships with Grubhub couldn’t make up for the difference.

As a result, the cookie season is over, leaving about 15 million boxes of cookies. Most (about 12 million boxes) remain in two bakeries, Little Brownie Bakers based in Louisville, Kentucky, and ABC Bakers based in Brownsburg, Indiana. An additional 3 million boxes are in the hands of the Girl Scouts Council, who are struggling to sell or donate them. Cookies are valid for 12 months.

It’s unclear how much the Girl Scouts were hit financially by the decline in sales, as the Girl Scouts of Japan didn’t reveal these numbers. And that’s not the biggest blow the cookie program has ever faced. It probably happened during World War II when Girl Scouts were forced to move from selling cookies to calendars due to a shortage of sugar, butter, and flour during the war.

However, the excess of cookies revealed some boiling problems within the Girl Scout ranks. Some local leaders say the slowdown in sales this year should have been better predicted, as the decline in membership threatened cookie sales even before the pandemic began. In 2019, about 1.7 million girls were registered as Girl Scouts, a decrease of almost 30% from 2009.

“Without girls, there is no cookie program. Unfortunately, there was a pandemic to surface all issues,” said Girl Scouts, president and chief executive officer of the local council, Middle Tennessee. Said Agenia Clark.

Clark and other local leaders were able to avoid cookie stockpiling by calculating their own forecasts rather than relying on guidance from national offices. Clark believes that the new technology platform adopted by Girl Scouts does not adequately predict the decline in membership and its impact. In April, she sued a US Girl Scout because she didn’t want the council to force her to use the platform.

Parisi admitted that membership declined during the pandemic as the army struggled to find a safe way to meet. But those numbers have already recovered, she said.

There were other reasons for the decline in sales. Some local leaders say they may have sold cookies this year, but because of the Associated Press story linking child labor to the palm oil used to make Girl Scout cookies. Did not sell to.

Related | Girl Scouts partner with Grubhub to pick up without contact and place cookie delivery orders

Gina Verdivello, an army leader in Jersey City, NJ, said her 21 army of girls aged 10 to 15 decided to boycott this year’s cookie program and protested at the city hall. He said he went. Verdi Bello said he knew at least 12 other troops who chose not to sell because of palm oil issues.

“We want to sell cookies. It’s part of us, but it’s a kind of damper,” Verdi continues to fund the activity with donations from people who heard about the boycott. Bello said.

Parisi said such boycotts were not widespread. However, Girl Scouts is a non-profit organization that works with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to set the environmental and social standards of the industry to ensure that farmers meet those standards. She said.

After all, the local council will not be financially responsible for the 12 million boxes left in the two bakeries. Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers have said they are working with Girl Scouts to sell or donate cookies to places such as food banks and the military. Bakeries cannot sell cookies directly to grocery stores, as the annual sale of cookies may become less important. But they can sell to buyers of institutions like prisons.

Bakeries and councils have previously dealt with excess inventories due to weather events such as storms and tornadoes, according to Parisi. But this level is unprecedented.

She said some gist, like the partnership with Grubhub, is likely to stay here. But the girls want to return to the booth next year as well.

“The Girl Scout cookie season isn’t just about buying cookies,” she said. “It interacts with girls. It’s Americana.”

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

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