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Girl Scout Cookies - The Latest Food Plagued By Supply Chain Disruption Featured

Girl Scout Cookies - The Latest Food Plagued By Supply Chain Disruption chocolate cupcake with white icing on top

Even the Girl Scouts aren’t safe from supply chain issues as the beloved cookies have become the latest causality in the on-going supply chain woes that continue to plague the world since  the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020.

Girl Scout Cookies have been an American tradition since the organization first began selling them in 1917. However, it wasn't until the 1930s that they started commercially baking and selling cookies for their fundraiser. Today, the cookies have become a staple in homes across the country from January to April – reminding consumers of when they themselves were Girl Scouts or memories of their families purchasing cookies from their local Girl Scout troop.

But this year may be different as one of the two primary cookie bakers are experiencing supply chain problems. The Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) located in Louisville, KY have been dealing with inventory shortages as well as power outages due to inclement weather.

In a Facebook post, LBB stated that they were “working overtime” to fix this issue. And like the Girl Scout troops and consumers they too were frustrated, promising they did not take the disruption lightly. They assured the public that they – “…understand what cookie season means to Girl Scouts, and we take our commitment to them very seriously.”

Despite their apology both the Girl Scout executives, troop leaders and consumers aren’t willing to forgive them just yet. The Girl Scouts have expressed their disappointment in the manufacturing company letting the local troop leaders know they expected more out of LBB.

Whitney Ford, a mother of a Northeast Texas Girl Scout wrote in the comment section of LBB’s Facebook post – “Supply and labor issues were predictable...a good first step would be to not promise what you can't deliver so that others dependent on you can plan accordingly instead of it being a near daily surprise of problems.”

The cookie drive is a Girl Scout Troop’s main fundraiser for the year and because of the shortages – approximately 75% of troops won’t be able to make their sales goals this year. The remaining 25% receive their cookies from a supplier called ABC Bakers. At the time of this article ABC Bakers are not having supply chain disruptions.

Due to the supply chain issues there are limited cookies available – making some cookies like the new vegan Raspberry Rally skyrocket in price on resale sites like E-bay. The organization issued a statement stating that they were “saddened” that people were making a profit off their name without supporting the troops. The statement went on to say, “The third-party sellers have ‘deprived’ troops of valuable experience and of proceeds that fund ‘critical programming’.” At the time of writing this article there are over 350 listings for Raspberry Rallys – the lowest being advertised at $13.10 per box and the highest at $499 per box.

While there are minimal flavors available for purchase online – I stopped by my local Starbucks to see if the shortage would affect in-person sales at a local pop-up booth. To my surprise the Girl Scouts had every flavor (minus the Raspberry Rallys which was always an online exclusive). So while your favorite flavors may be sold out online – you may have better luck stopping by a local pop-up or ordering through your neighborhood Girl Scout. To find a pop-up cookie booth near you – head to Girl Scouts’ website and enter in your Zip Code. 

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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