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Girl Scout Cookie History [ ]
- 1910s: Girl Scout Cookies had their earliest beginnings in the kitchens and ovens of our girl members, with moms volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Girl Scouts in the United States, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project.
- 1920s: In July 1922, The American Girl magazine, published by Girl Scouts of the USA, featured an article by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois. Miss Neil provided a cookie recipe that had been given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts. She estimated the approximate cost of ingredients for six- to seven-dozen cookies to be 26 to 36 cents. The cookies, she suggested, could be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen.
Throughout the decade, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country continued to bake their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers and with help from the community. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.
- 1930s: In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city’s gas and electric company windows. The price was just 23 cents per box of 44 cookies, or six boxes for $1.24! Girls developed their marketing and business skills and raised funds for their local Girl Scout council. A year later, Greater Philadelphia took cookie sales to the next level, becoming the first council to sell commercially baked cookies.
In 1935, the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York raised money through the sale of commercially baked cookies. Buying its own die in the shape of a trefoil, the group used the words “Girl Scout Cookies” on the box. In 1936, the national Girl Scout organization began the process of licensing the first commercial bakers to produce cookies that would be sold nationwide by girls in Girl Scout councils.
Enthusiasm for Girl Scout Cookies spread nationwide. By 1937, more than 125 Girl Scout councils reported holding cookie sales.
- 1940s: Girl Scout Cookies were sold by local councils around the country until World War II, when sugar, flour, and butter shortages led Girl Scouts to pivot, selling the first Girl Scout calendars in 1944 as an alternative to raise money for activities.
After the war, cookie sales increased, and by 1948, a total of 29 bakers were licensed to bake Girl Scout Cookies.
- 1950s: In 1951, Girl Scout Cookies came in three varieties: Sandwich, Shortbread, and Chocolate Mints (now known as Thin Mints). With the advent of the suburbs, girls at tables in shopping malls began selling Girl Scout Cookies.
Five years later, flavors had evolved. Girl Scouts sold four basic types of cookies: a vanilla-based filled cookie, a chocolate-based filled one, shortbread, and a chocolate mint. Some bakers also offered another optional flavor.
- 1960s: During the 1960s, when Baby Boomers expanded Girl Scout membership, cookie sales increased significantly. Fourteen licensed bakers were mixing batter for thousands upon thousands of Girl Scout Cookies annually. And those bakers began wrapping Girl Scout Cookie boxes in printed aluminum foil or cellophane to protect the cookies and preserve their freshness.
By 1966, a number of varieties were available. Among the best sellers were Chocolate Mint (now known as Thin Mints), Shortbread, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies.
- 1970s: In 1978, the number of bakers was streamlined to four to ensure lower prices and uniform quality, packaging, and distribution. For the first time in history, all cookie boxes—regardless of the baker—featured the same designs and depicted scenes of Girl Scouts in action, including hiking and canoeing. And in 1979, the brand-new, Saul Bass–created Girl Scout logo appeared on cookie boxes, which became even more creative and began promoting the benefits of Girl Scouting.
Girl Scout Cookies for sale during the 1970s included Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®, and Shortbread/Trefoils® cookies, plus four additional choices.
- 1980s: In 1982, four bakers still produced a maximum of seven varieties of cookies—three mandatory (Thin Mint®, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®, and Shortbread/Trefoils®) and four optional. Cookie boxes depicted scenes of Girl Scouts in action.
- 1990s: In the early 1990s, two licensed bakers supplied local Girl Scout councils with cookies for girls to sell, and by 1998, this number had grown again to three. Eight cookie varieties were available, including low-fat and sugar-free selections.
GSUSA also introduced official age-appropriate awards for Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors, including the Cookie Activity pin, which was awarded for participating in the cookie sale.
- 2000s: Early in the twenty-first century, every Girl Scout Cookie had a mission. New cookie box designs, introduced in fall of 2000, were bold and bright, capturing the spirit of Girl Scouting. Two licensed bakers produced a maximum of eight varieties, including three that were mandatory (Thin Mints®, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®, and Shortbread/Trefoils®). All cookies were kosher. And, much to the excitement of our youngest Girl Scouts, Daisies started selling cookies!
- 2010s: With the announcement of National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend (the next one is February 23–25, 2018) and the introduction of our very first gluten-free Girl Scout Cookie, the decade was off to a big start. But the really big news was the launch of the Digital Cookie® platform in 2014. A fun, safe, and interactive space for girls to sell cookies, Digital Cookie takes the iconic cookie program digital and introduces Girl Scouts to vital 21st century lessons about online marketing, app usage, and ecommerce. But most importantly, Digital Cookie retains the one-to-one personal approach to selling that is essential to the success of the program and the girls who participate.
- Today: Who can forget the amazing moment in 2016 when Girl Scouts took the stage at the Academy Awards to sell cookies to Hollywood’s A-list? It was a stellar beginning to the nationwide celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies. The centennial festivities continued with the introduction of Girl Scout S’mores™. Paying homage to an iconic Girl Scout outdoor tradition— Girl Scout S’mores quickly became the most popular new cookies to launch in our history. As the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world, the Girl Scout Cookie Program is powering the next century of girl entrepreneurs toward greatness.
29. Iced Berry PiñatasKaren Culp/Shutterstock
The Iced Berry Piñatas are one of those Girl Scout cookies that are relatively fresh in some peoples’ memories, having been available from 2003 to 2005 (via Eat This, Not That). The cookies were similar to jam-filled thumbprint cookies, with a sugar cookie base and berry jam baked on top of the cookie. The cookie’s box even claimed that the cookies were made with real strawberries, so it’s safe to assume that the berry jam was predominantly, if not entirely strawberry-flavored. There was also an addition of small cinnamon-flavored crumbs added to the top before the cookie was drizzled with icing.
As for why they’re called piñatas, we assume it’s because they’re stuffed with jam, sort of like a piñata stuffed with candies, but it’s a vague association. Nevertheless, this fruit-forward sugar cookie is still missed by many and we’re hoping it makes a resurgence in some form or another in future years.
34. Lemon DropsMegan Betteridge/Shutterstock
These were the last of the Girl Scout cookies to be introduced in the 1990s, replacing the Chalet Cremes (which turned out to be a big mistake). Lemon Drops were crunchy lemon-flavored cookies that had creamy lemon-flavored morsels mixed in, sort of like a completely lemon-flavored chocolate chip cookie. It’s not that the Lemon Drops weren’t good cookies — there have consistently been lemon-flavored Girl Scout cookies in the cookie lineup, and what’s not to love? But it’s hard to follow such a beloved cookie as the Chalet Creme.
The Lemon Drops cookies ran from 1998 to 1999 and never made it to the new millennium. It would be four years before the Girl Scouts would introduce another lemon cookie, and by then the Lemon Drops cookies had almost completely faded into history. If these happened to be one of your favorite cookies, they’re probably easy to recreate with a lemon-flavored sugar cookie or shortbread dough, filled with lemon morsels.
Whats in a Name?
Ever wondered why the same cookie may have two different names? The answer is simple; Girl Scout Cookies are baked in two different bakeries, and Little Brownie Bakers. Although there are some differences you should always be able to find Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos (Peanut Butter Sandwiches) and Trefoil (Shortbread) cookies.
1933: 23 Cents per 44 Cookies
The next reported cookie price was actually a decrease from the previous decade. According to the official Girl Scouts website, in 1933, the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city’s gas and electric company windows for 23 cents per box of 44 cookies. They also sold six boxes for $1.24.
1999: $3 per Box
In 1999, local scouts in Marshall, Missouri began selling cookies for $3 per box, The Marshall Democrat-News reported. By this year, eight cookie varieties were available, including low-fat and sugar-free options.
Types of Girl Scout Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Shortbread – (gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookie) – 20 cookies* per 5 ounce box.
- Cranberry Citrus Crisps – (made with whole grain, cranberry bits and citrus flavor) – 20 cookies* per 6-ounce box.
- Do-Si-Dos™ – Peanut Butter Sandwiches – (peanut butter cookie with peanut butter filling) – 20 cookies* per 8-ounce box.
- Dulce de Leche – (made with milk caramel chips) – 15 cookies* per 6-ounce box.
- Lemonades™ (shortbread cookie with a tangy lemon icing) – 16 cookies* per 8.5-ounce box.
- Rah-Rah Raisins™– (Oatmeal cookies made with whole grain oats, Greek yogurt-flavored chunks, and raisins)
- Samoas® – Caramel deLites™ (vanilla cookies covered with caramel on top and bottom then rolled in coconut and striped with chocolate) – 15 cookies* per 7-ounce box.
- Savannah Smiles™ (crisp, zesty lemon cookies named in honor of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting) – 25 cookies per __ ounce box.
- Tagalongs® – Peanut Butter Patties® (Regular cookie with soft Peanut Butter and coated with chocolate) – 15 cookies* per 7-ounce box.
- Toffee-tastic™ – Gluten-free buttery cookie with crunchy golden toffee bits.
- Thanks-A-Lot™ used to be known as Animal Treasures and All Abouts (all same type shortbread cookie with chocolate on the bottom) – 16* per 8.5-ounce box
- Thank U Berry Munch (A cookie made with premium cranberries and white fudge chips.) – 14 cookies per 6.17-ounce box.
- Thin Mints (thin chocolate-peppermint cookie coated in chocolate) – 32 cookies* in a 10-ounce box.
- Trefoils – a.k.a. Shortbread – (a shortbread cookie) – 44 cookies* per 10 ounce box.
- Trios – (gluten-free peanut butter-oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips) –
- * All cookie counts and package sizes are approximate.**Remember not all cookies are available is all areas.
- Café Cookies (crispy cinnamon cookie caramelized with brown sugar) – 45 cookies per 10-ounce box. (No longer available.)
- Cartwheels (a reduced fat cinnamon-oatmeal cookie.) – 30 cookies* per 7-ounce box. (No longer available.)
- Cinna-Spins™ (crispy cinnamon snack swirls that come in 100 calorie packs.) – five .85oz. packs with net weight of 4.25oz.
- Daisy Go Rounds – (small reduced fat cinnamon cookies) – 5 individual serving sacks in 4.2-ounce box
- Double Dutch (chocolate – Chocolate Chip) – 17 cookies* per 7 ounce box. (No longer available.)
- Ice Berry Piñatas (reminds me of raspberry-filled Danish) 14 cookies* per 7-ounce box. (No longer available.)
- Lemon Coolers (powdered sugar-covered cookies with lemon chips in the inside) – 33 cookies* per 7-ounce box. (No longer available.)
- Lemon Chalet Cremes™ (rectangular cinnamon-ginger lemon-filled cookies) – 14 cookies* per 8 ounce box.
- Lemon Pastry Cremes (low fat) (lemon sandwich cookie with lemon filling) – 16 cookies* per 7-ounce box. (No longer available.)
- Mango Crèmes with NutriFusion™ – (vanilla and coconut cookies filled with a tangy mango-flavored creme enhanced with nutrients derived from fruits) – approximately 21 cookies per box.
- Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds™ (crispy cinnamon cookies) – 5 servings* per 4.2-ounce box.
- Shout Outs!™ (Light and crisp, Belgian-style caramelized cookies) – 40 cookies* per 9-ounce box.
- Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (chocolate chip cookies) – 15 cookies* per 5.5-ounce box.
- Sugar-Free Little Brownies™ (chewy chocolate cookies with chocolate chips in them) – 20 cookies* per 5.5-ounce box. (No longer available. Good thing, too as these were not well liked.)