Blog: Girl Scout cookies then and now

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It’s that time of year again. Girl Scouts are assembling on street corners, gathering outside local grocery stories and going door to door to sell their famous Thin Mints and Samoas. Girl Scouts have sold cookies since 1917, but the cookies have gone through a lot of changes over the years. Here’s a guide to their evolution:

Girl Scout cookies are an American tradition. (Photo courtesy of The Girl Scouts Organization of America)

What was the original Girl Scout cookie?

According to the official Girl Scouts website, Girl Scouts have sold cookies for 91 years. The original cookie was sold for about 25 cents per dozen and was made of basic ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

What is the most popular cookie?

Thin Mints account for 25 percent of all Girl Scout cookie sales. Samoas are behind at 19 percent.

How have Girl Scout cookies changed?

Since 1917, Girl Scouts of America has rotated its cookie repertoire. It wasn’t until 1951 that Girl Scouts of America released its Chocolate Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich and Shortbread cookies. Variations of these cookies remain among the best sellers today. ABCbakers and LittleBrownieBakers, the only bakeries allowed to make the cookies, rotate out the flavors each year based on popularity and profit. The only three cookies required are the original Chocolate Mint, Peanut Butter Sandwich and Shortbread cookies.

Some cookies, like Lemon Coolers and Juliettes, will never again be enjoyed by cookie consumers.

“Though they’re no longer in production, certain varieties remain steadfastly in consumers’ memories — and hearts,” wrote Vicki Santillano, a contributor to the popular blog DivineCaroline.

What changes can we expect this year?

The Girl Scouts organization made three major changes this year.

Nutrifusion, the ingredient used in the new Mango Cremes. (Photo courtesy Nutrifusion)

First, it approved of a new controversial cookie, the Mango Creme with Nutrifusion. It claims these cookies are healthier than its other cookies because Nutrifusion, the cream inside, is filled with the essential vitamins and minerals found in fruits. But people are skeptical.

“Don’t suddenly turn a cookie into the health-equivalent of eating an apple. Let’s just let a cookie be a cookie,” Carey Polis wrote in The Huffington Post.

Second, the boxes got a makeover. According to the website for the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians, “Rather than simply showing girls having fun, the new box designs give customers a more complete look at the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.” The boxes feature the five skills girls learn from selling the cookies and some quotes from the girls.

Third, the organization launched a mobile app. By entering a ZIP code or GPS location, “Cookie lovers are put in touch with a list of the nearest places to buy Thin Mints, Samoas or whatever other cookies they’re craving,” said Alyssa Newcomb at ABCNews.

Regardless of the changes, Girls Scout cookies are likely to remain the most popular cookies in America.

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