Girl Scouts cut cookie selection
The marketing-savvy organization sees more profit in fewer varieties. Can't find cookies? Use the app.
No one is immune to the economy, not even the Girl Scouts.
The organization is discontinuing some of its less popular cookie flavors, choosing to cut costs by focusing on just six flavors in 12 test markets around the country.
Whew! Samoas (also known as Caramel deLites) are still being sold nationwide, as are Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils, Lemon Chalet Cremes and Tagalongs (aka Peanut Butter Patties).
But Dulce de Leche, Thank U Berry Munch and All Abouts shortbread cookies are no longer on the menu for the regions participating in the Super Six pilot.
The Girl Scouts, which started selling cookies in 1917, have focused more on successful marketing techniques in recent years. The organization's latest move was to embrace the use of social media for cookie sales.
Like other merchants, the organization is looking for ways to cut costs in lean times.
"Our top five varieties make up 77% of cookie sales," Amanda Hamaker, the Girl Scouts' manager of national product sales, told The Wall Street Journal. "The others are yummy and fun, but they're side dressing -- leaving councils with an awful lot of alternate varieties left over."
She told the WSJ: "We're all seeking a little more simplicity." Post continues after video.
Girl Scout cookies are still not sold on the Web -- leaders believe the girls learn more when they sell in person -- but Girl Scouts 13 and older can now market their cookies online. You can read about the cookies on the Web (enter your ZIP code to find a local troop selling cookies), "like" Girl Scout cookies on Facebook (and send virtual cookies to your friends with the app), follow the Girl Scouts on Twitter, watch them on YouTube and download cookie-finding apps for iPhone and Android.
The Girl Scouts may be tightening their belts but they're making it easy for you to buy a few boxes of cookies rather than tighten yours. Prices are $3.50 to $4 a box, depending on where you live.
So far, the discontinuation of the less popular flavors hasn't drawn much opposition, though 12-year-old Girl Scout Josephine Woytas of Oklahoma and her family are hoarding boxes of the Dulce de Leche caramel cookies. "I can't believe they took those away," Josephine told the WSJ. "I guess what it comes down to is the consumer's choice."
The Girl Scouts must know what they're doing. According to the WSJ, profits rose from $700 million to $714 million last year, after six years of falling about 1% a year.
More from MSN Money:
Noooooooooooooooo! Take away my Girl Sprout Cookies? Boo, hiss!
I grew up as a Brownie and then a Girl Scout. I sold GS Cookies and my mother was at one time the troop leader, neighborhood chairman and cookie chairman. We ate, breathed and sold cookies to everyone who would hold still.
“Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, (Soybean, Cottonseed, Coconut Palm And/Or Palm Kernel Oils, Tbhq And Citric Acid To Preserve Freshness), Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine, Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Corn Syrup, Coconut, Sweetened Condensed Whole Milk (Whole Milk, Sucrose), Sorbitol, Contains Two Percent Or Less Of Cocoa, Glycerine, Salt, Dextrose, Invert Sugar, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Cornstarch, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Leavening (Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate)”
Isn't Girl Scouts all about teaching and empowering young girls/women? Or, is it about making the people who buy their cookies have cankles to make them look better?
Oh I remember the days when they were 50 cents a box…sold a lot of them in the mid 1960s; good memories!! Sold them myself, door to door!!
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