LITTLETON, CO – If there are three things you can count on every year in Littleton, it’s taxes, Salvation Army Santas ringing the bell at grocery stores and Girl Scouts selling their famous cookies.
This year, Girl Scouts of America had 15 million unsold boxes of cookies, and the company is battling expiration dates to sell all the goodies.
You won’t be able to satisfy your own craving for a can of Caramel deLites or Lemonades. But you can make sure they are not wasted in YOUR CITY.
Surplus cookies are not available for individual purchase, BUT any interested person can buy cookies that will be given to first responders, food banks and other worthy causes.
Here are five things to know about cookie glut:
1. Why haven’t they sold?
The organization blames the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the oversupply of cookies. Pandemic precautions have forced many troops to cancel their traditional booth sales, the Associated Press and other news outlets have reported.
In early spring, when cookie sales began, COVID-19 precautions were still in place and virus cases were nearing a peak, hundreds of Girl Scouts avoided in-person sales and instead focused on the moving inventory through online sales.
The organization, which will celebrate its 110th anniversary next year, has created virtual cookie kiosks to ensure the safety of Boy Scouts while selling cookies. Individual troops make connections, and people in need of a Girl Scout cookie fix can order them through an app or text message.
Girl Scouts in New Mexico got creative and tried selling cookies from drive-thru kiosks with contactless delivery, Rebecca Latham, CEO of Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, told The Associated Press.
In January, the Girl Scouts partnered with Grubhub, who agreed to waive their costs, sell and deliver cookies.
But despite these efforts, there are still 15 million unsold boxes of cookies.
“It’s unfortunate, but given that this is a girl-focused program and the majority of cookies are sold in person, that’s to be expected,” said Kelly Parisi, spokesperson of the Girl Scouts of the USA, to the Associated Press.
2. How many are typically sold?
In a typical year, Girl Scouts sell about 200 million boxes or $ 800 million in cookies.
Troops in the Latham area typically sell 805,000 boxes of cookies, but this year they have sold just under 600,000, the Associated Press reported.
Despite reduced expectations for this year’s sales, “orders for cookies that its 111 local councils placed with bakers last fall were still too optimistic,” Parisi told The Associated Press.
3. How to donate
Donate Girl Scout Cookies costs $ 5 per box, and there is no shipping cost. So far, around 5,000 boxes of cookies have been donated.
The Girl Scouts have set a goal of donating 1 million of the remaining 3 million boxes for which they are financially responsible.
Two bakeries have about 12 million unopened cookie boxes, while Girl Scout Boards have the remaining 3 million, the Associated Press said.
Bakeries are not allowed to sell directly to grocers because the organization does not want to diminish the importance and specialty of annual cookie sales, the Associated Press said. Bakeries may be able to sell directly to institutional buyers such as prisons.
4. What is the financial impact?
Local councils will not be held financially responsible for the 12 million boxes in the two bakeries, but they will be responsible for the 3 million boxes in their possession.
Latham told The Associated Press that the loss of sales on his board would affect the organization’s ability to invest in improving infrastructure in Girl Scout camps and to fill certain positions.
5. Will they go wrong?
Yes, cookies have a shelf life of 12 months.
Next year, expect the Girl Scouts to come back in force. Membership that declined during the pandemic is already rebounding, Parisi told the AP.
Some coronavirus-related changes – such as the partnership with Grubhub – will likely continue over the next few cookie seasons, Parisi told the AP, but Girl Scouts are eager to reopen their stands next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.