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Buying Girl Scout Cookies from GSACPC

Q: When do Girl Scout Cookies go on sale and how do I find them?

Girl Scout Cookies can only be purchased during cookie season. The 2015 cookie season will run January 26 - March 8. Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council is saying goodbye to pre-orders. Girls will have cookies in hand during the entire selling period. Booth sales occur at the beginning of the season now. Girl Scouts will be at booths in front of store partners Fry’s, Safeway, Walmart and other locations throughout our council.

To find booth sales in your area, try our Cookie Finder. This app, which can be downloaded on any smartphone, will help you to search for sales in your neighborhood and get details on your favorite Girl Scout cookie. It even allows you to find your Cookie Personality. 

Q: Can I buy Girl Scout Cookies online?

Girl Scouts of the USA does not currently allow online sales of Girl Scout Cookies, though they are presently researching a future state where it will be possible for girls to engage consumers in online sales, developing critical and relevant entrepreneurship skills in the process. Use our Cookie Locator to find cookie sales in your community.

Cookies found for sale online at auction and community list sites should not be purchased under any circumstances, as GSUSA, GSACPC, nor our licensed bakers, can guarantee the freshness of these cookies. Further, purchasing cookies in this way does not support the girls participating in the cookie program.

NOTE: GSACPC Girl Scouts are using something called Cookie Club. This is a unique tool created by our supplier, Little Brownie Bakers, where girls can send e-Cards to friends and family notifying them of the sale and asking them to make Cookie Promises online. No money is exchanged, but girls can track orders online.

Q: What are the cookie flavors?

There are six cookie flavors for sale through the GSACPC cookie program (A.K.A. “Super 6!”):

  • Do-si-dos® Crisp and crunchy oatmeal cookies with a creamy peanut butter filling. No artificial color or flavor.
  • Trefoils™ Delicate-tasting shortbread that melts in your mouth.
  • Thin Mints A thin wafer covered with a smooth chocolaty coating. Made with natural peppermint and are vegan.
  • Samoas® Tender vanilla cookies, covered with caramel, rolled in toasted coconut, striped with a rich, chocolaty coating.
  • Tagalongs® Tasty cookies topped with creamy peanut butter and covered with a luscious chocolaty coating.
  • Savannah Smiles® This is our 100th anniversary cookie, named in honor of the birthplace of Girl Scouting, Savannah, Georgia.  These are crisp, zesty lemon cookies in the shape of the world famous brownie smile.

All Girls Scout Cookies are kosher. 

 

Selling Girl Scout Cookies

Q: Who can sell Girl Scout Cookies?

All girl members may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Although parents and Girl Scout adults may assist girls, 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 this Girl Scout program activity is voluntary.

Q: Who runs the cookie program?

The GSACPC staff Product Program team and volunteers. 

Q: Do girls earn any Girl Scout awards from participating in the cookie program?

As part of their experience in any Girl Scouts program, girls can earn official Girl Scout awards at every level, including cookie and financial literacy badges and the annual Cookie Activity Pin. Awards are based on completing established program activities.

Q: How do you ensure the safety of Girl Scouts who sell cookies?

The safety and security of our members is always our chief concern. We have strict guidelines for safety. 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 the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge. Girls print out the pledge and ask their parents (or guardians), to read and sign the pledge together.

Q: What do girls learn from the cookie program?

Through Girl Scouting, girls become leaders in their daily lives and prepare for their bright futures, too! The Girl Scout Cookie Program provides an important ingredient for leadership by helping girls develop five key skills:

  • Goal Setting: Because your Girl Scout sets cookie sales goals and develops a plan to reach them
  • Decision Making: Because your Girl Scout helps decide how her team will spend their cookie money
  • Money Management: Because your Girl Scout takes cookie orders and handles customers’ money
  • People Skills: Because your Girl Scout learns how to talk and listen to all kinds of people while selling cookies
  • Business Ethics: Because your Girl Scout is honest and responsible at every step of the cookie sale

Girls can also make cookies a service project, by participating in our "Gift of Caring" program, in which cookie customers can donate cookies to various non-profit organizations in need. Troops may decide which organizations they would like to donate their cookies to, OR they can utilize one of GSACPC’s community partners (St. Mary’s Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul, USO Arizona).

 

Cookie Revenue

Q: When I buy Girl Scout Cookies, where does the money go?

Each package of cookies costs $4.00. All proceeds generated from the Cookie Program stay in our local Girl Scout council to support Girl Scouting in Arizona. Here’s how girls and the community benefit from every package of cookie sold during the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

  • $1.04 (26%) Cookie Program costs
  • $  .88 (22%) Troop proceeds, Girl rewards and Service Unit Bonus
  • $1.17 (29%) Membership support
  • $  .45 (11%) Girl programs and activities
  • $ .29 (7%) Volunteer training and support
  • $ .17 (4%) Camp facilties and programs


Q: How does the cookie revenue benefit girls?

All of the revenue earned from cookie activities —every penny after paying the baker—stays with our council.  This includes the portion that goes directly to the Troops and girls. Councils use their 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 special events and service projects in the community. The GSACPC volunteer board of directors:

  • Chooses the baker
  • Determines the price per box
  • Decides how this revenue will be used to provide vital services
  • Decides how much money will be returned to groups selling cookies for their projects and activities

Q: Is the purchase of Girl Scout Cookies tax-deductible?

No and Yes.

No, if the customer keeps the cookies. Individuals who buy Girl Scout Cookies and take the cookies home, or consume them, have purchased a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a box of Girl Scout Cookies used in this way is tax-deductible.

Yes, if the customer leaves the cookies with Girl Scouts as a donation for Gift of Caring partners (see Gift of Caring). Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more boxes of cookies for use in their community service project or "Gift of Caring," for example, collecting for a food pantry. The customers not receiving any Girl Scout Cookies do not benefit directly from paying for them. Those individuals may treat the purchase price of the donated cookies as a charitable donation.

Q: Does any part of the cookie revenue go to support organizations other than Girl Scouts?

None of the money earned from the GSACPC cookie program 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 legitimate programmatic outings. Girls may also choose to use money earned through product activities to purchase materials for a community action leadership project to benefit the community.

All of the revenue from all cookie 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 selling cookies is to help girls develop a wide range of life and leadership skills, and to generate revenue that supports Girl Scouting locally.

Q: Girl Scout Cookies can be found in some popular ice cream treats. Can any business use Girl Scout cookies in their product?

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, contact trademarks@girlscouts.org. Business inquiries regarding the use of Girl Scout cookies in products should be directed to businesscabinet@girlscouts.org.

Q: 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 vendors based on gross annual sales volume. Girl Scout councils do not provide any portion of their cookie revenue to Girl Scouts of the USA. No other revenue from cookie sales goes to Girl Scouts of the USA. Girl Scouts of the USA provides contractual services and approves all educational materials developed by the bakers, as well as providing coordination and training for national media, safety standards, leadership programs and sale guidelines.

 

Product Information

Q: Who bakes Girl Scout Cookies sold through Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council?

Currently, the company Little Brownie Bakers produces the cookies sold here at GSACPC. There is another company, ABC Bakers, which other councils may utilize.

Q: Are all Girl Scout Cookies kosher?

Yes. All Girl Scout Cookies are kosher.

Q: What are the best-selling Girl Scout Cookies?

The biggest sellers are:

  • 25% Thin Mints®
  • 19% Samoas®/Caramel deLites®
  • 13% Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs®
  • 11% Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®
  • 9% Shortbread/Trefoils®

The other varieties (or flavors) combined account for the remaining 23%.

Q: What if I'm not satisfied with my cookies?

Contact your local Girl Scout council if for any reason you are not satisfied with a box of Girl Scout Cookies you purchased. Volunteers or staff at the council will be glad to help you.

Q: How do I find out the ingredients, nutritional value and allergen information for one or more of the Girl Scout Cookie varieties?

So that consumers can make an informed choice, the ingredients, nutritional profile and allergen information of each variety are clearly listed on the cookie box. Additionally, this information is available on the Web at www.GirlScoutCookies.org.

With special regard to allergen concerns, our baker, Little Brownie Baker, bakes Girl Scout cookies in state of the art facilities, and the consumer can be assured that every required safety protocol is adhered to in order to prevent cross contamination of ingredients. Little Brownie Baker stands behind the allergen notifications listed on each box of cookies. Consumers with additional concerns may contact the company at http://www.littlebrownie.com.

Q: Are any preservatives used in Girl Scout Cookies?

No. Girl Scout Cookies do not contain any added preservatives.

Q: How long do Girl Scout cookies stay fresh?

There is a ‘Use or freeze by’ date on all Little Brownie Baker cookies indicating a date by when cookies should be consumed or frozen.

Q: What about partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fats)?

Girl Scouts of the USA is proud that all Girl Scout cookies are "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 or exceeds the FDA guidelines for the "zero trans fat" designation, and selected varieties can claim 100% trans-fat free status, meaning there's not a speck of trans fats in the whole box. For a list of specific cookie ingredients, please visit www.GirlScoutCookies.org.

Q: Why is there palm oil in Girl Scout Cookies?

Palm oil is an ingredient that is prevalent in many foods and 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, 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. While we continue to explore other alternatives, at this time, there are no viable or readily available alternatives on the market today.

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:

Our licensed bakers are members of the RSPO and exclusively source palm oil from members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization of growers, buyers, manufacturers, conservationists and interested parties who are striving to develop and follow best practices to ensure sustainability. In 2012, GSUSA became an affiliate member of the (RSPO).

Our licensed bakers purchased GreenPalm certificates covering 100% of the palm oil used in Girl Scout cookies. Additionally, GSUSA purchased GreenPalm certificates to support programmatic objectives. The certificates offer a premium price to palm oil producers who are operating within the guidelines for social, environmental and economic responsibility set by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil.

GSUSA and our licensed bakers will join other industry leaders in making a pledge to move to a segregated, certified sustainable palm oil source by 2015, based on market availability.

GSUSA and our licensed bakers are committed to using as little palm oil as possible in Girl Scout cookies and have committed to continued research into viable alternatives. Please visit www.littlebrownie.com or www.abcsmartcookies.com to read more on the bakers' published statements and position on palm oil.

American palm oil use represents less than 3% of total global consumption, and palm oil used in Girl Scout cookies represents a tiny fraction of that. Thanks to the encouragement and partnership from Girl Scout members, GSUSA and our bakers have realized the power of the Girl Scout brand to make a positive difference in the movement toward sustainably produced palm oil.

Q: What about High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Our licensed vendors use a variety of ingredients in the production of Girl Scout Cookies, including, in some cookies, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Our bakers have indicated that HCFS is a specifically helpful ingredient in the browning process, and helps cookies retain freshness. For those cookies where HFCS is used, our bakers indicate that it is a key ingredient in ensuring the quality of the cookie.

As leaders in the baking industry, we trust our bakers to develop recipes using ingredients that will produce the best quality, best tasting cookies, and simultaneously address industry and scientific trends, and of course, consumer preference. For a list of specific cookie ingredients, please visit www.GirlScoutCookies.org.

Q: Does the chocolate used in Girl Scout Cookies come from cacao beans picked by children?

Our licensed bakers continue to work with their main suppliers of chocolate and with the Chocolate Manufacturer's Association (CMA), of which both licensed bakers are members, on the 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.

Q: Should people with diabetes buy or consume Girl Scout Cookies?

Our licensed bakers currently do not have a sugar free cookie offering. 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 you to discuss the use of sugar in your diet with your doctor or registered dietitian.

For consumer convenience, each of our licensed bakers lists dietary exchanges on the cookie box and cookie order form so people with diabetes and adults with children with diabetes can make informed choices. The amount of sugar and carbohydrates is also listed. Dietary exchanges should always be consulted, even if a product is labeled "sugarless." "Sugar free cookies" or "sugarless" are not synonymous with a "diabetic cookie" labeling because of the carbohydrates.

Q: What about the concerns of those on low-carb diets?

The ingredients and nutritional elements of all cookies are listed on the cookie order forms and the side of the cookie box so those concerned about carbohydrates can make informed choices. The information can also be found on the Web at www.GirlScoutCookies.org.

Q: Don't Girl Scout Cookies contribute to the childhood obesity problem?

Girl Scout cookies are sold for a short time every year, and are considered a 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 its girl members, 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 continue them into adulthood. Girls are also taught to consider ingredient contribution to their overall diet and portion size when choosing snacks.

In addition, the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) released a research review entitledWeighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow. Weighing In addresses various underlying causes leading 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.

Q: Why don't you offer cookies that are whole-wheat, wheat-free, non-dairy, dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, casein-free, organic, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, low-fat, non-fat, fat-free, etc.?

Because Girl Scout cookies are produced just once a year and for a limited time, our bakers never achieve the volume required to support the specific 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. Consumers should check the labels of all of the products they eat, including Girl Scout cookies. You may just find a variety that fits within your dietary restrictions or goals.

Q: Is my cookie package recyclable?

Your cookie package is intended to be recyclable, but it may depend on your local recycling service whether the packaging can be accepted. The cookie boxes can be recycled with paper products, and the inside trays are #6 polystyrene and should be accepted with your other plastic recycling. Notably, all Girl Scout cookie program materials from the bakery are printed on 100% recycled paper.