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Girl Scout Cookie Fun Facts

Published October 07, 2010        by Rae Ann

Photo Credit: hinnosaar via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo Credit: hinnosaar via Flickr Creative Commons

Girl Scout cookies a delicious and much beloved part of American history. These tasty treats are anticipated all year long. They are only on sale once a year and then they are gone. Office staff gather around the mom who brings in the cookie order sheet for her daughter. Eager teens hope their sister has left a few boxes in the pantry for them. Why are they so darn good? Why is it that nothing is as satisfying as a genuine Girl Scout cookie? No supermarket brand even comes close. It’s hard to say. But here are some fun facts about America’s beloved Girl Scout treats.

  • Girl Scout cookies have been around since 1917. They’ll soon be celebrating their 100 year anniversary. When Juliette Gordon Low first founded the girl scouts in 1912, she was a visionary. She encouraged the girls to bake cookies at home and sell them on foot to neighbors to gain valuable life skills. The rest is history.
  • The very first cookies were sold for prices ranging from 25 to 30 cents per dozen. Today, a box of cookies will set you back $3.50.
  • In 1934, girls in the Greater Philadelphia troop became the first to go out and market their cookies for profit. They sold their cookies from windows at the local electric and gas companies.
  • Production of Girl Scout cookies was not regulated in the beginning. Home bakers supervised by their mothers would bake the cookies and seat them in a bag. By 1948, twenty nine bakers in the nation were given the honor of baking official Girl Scout Cookies. Nowadays, only two bakers are licensed to sell official Girl Scout Cookies. This keeps the production costs down and ensures the quality that Girl Scouts demand.
  • Since Girl Scout headquarters did not want to have to keep raising the price of the cookies, they took a few cookies out of the box and reduced it by a centimeter. Most people don’t even notice.
  • In 1951, Girl Scout Cookies were available in Sandwich, Shortbread, and Chocolate Mints (now known as Thin Mints).
  • All Girl Scout cookies contain only kosher ingredients and are preservative free. They are designed to be frozen so you can enjoy them well after the sale is over.
  • Every Girl Scout cookie box is recyclable once the inner cellophane is disposed of.
  • According to the Girl Scouts of America, the most popular cookies are:

25% Thin Mints
19% Samoas®/Caramel deLites®
13% Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs®
11% Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®
9% Shortbread/Trefoils

The other varieties combined account for the remaining 23%

  • If you miss the yearly sale, you can’t purchase Girl Scout cookies anywhere else. They’re not available online. Maybe that’s what makes them so sought after. Knowing they are available only once a year means they are a fleeting pleasure. While you can’t buy them online, you can check out to find a local troop that sells them.
  • Girl Scout troops donate cookies to overseas personnel in the military each year.
  • Only registered Girl Scouts can sell the cookies. Their parents are not allowed to close the sale. These regulations help girls build their sales skills and confidence.
  • Approximately 70% of the proceeds go back to the Girl Scouts.
  • The girls in the photos of the cookie boxes are all real, registered Girl Scouts, not actors.

Cookie gifts are a great way to let someone know you're thinking of them.  Send a care package to a college student and include a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies along with other things they might enjoy for a surprise they'll love!