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Girl Scouts Have Millions of Unsold Cookie Boxes Amid Ongoing Pandemic & Falling Membership

Afouda Bamidele
Jun 15, 2021
04:50 P.M.
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A severe fall in the sales of cookies by the Girl Scouts has reportedly resulted in millions of unsold cookie boxes. The novel Coronavirus pandemic and a reduction in membership were contributing factors.

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The Girl Scouts of the USA have experienced an anomaly thanks to COVID-19. According to reports, the pandemic extended into sales season, making members unable to carry out their trades. Kelly Parisi, a spokesperson for the organization, said:

“This is unfortunate, but given this is a girl-driven program and the majority of cookies are sold in-person, it was to be expected.”

Girl Scouts sell cookies on February 8, 2013 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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Parisi explained that the low record of sales was lamentable as the impact may affect members who depend on the cookie profits to fund programs. Usually, the Girls Scouts have an annual sales record of about 200 million packages of cookies.

However, this year, they had a surplus of 15 million unsold boxes, with about 12 million stored at their baking facilities yet to be shipped out. Troops in different locations tried several new methods to increase sales but to no avail.

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Rebecca Latham, the CEO of Girl Scouts of New Mexico, noted that sales in her area have been relatively low. She stated that troops in her location had a record of less than 600,000 at the end of selling season, recording 22,000 boxes of unsold treats.

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts membership has dropped by a whopping 30 since 2009.

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Latham revealed that last year, members in her area sold 805,000 boxes, but they couldn’t beat the results despite introducing various new techniques such as drive-thru boots and contact-free delivery to improve sales.

The troops even urged customers to make an online purchase through a partnership program with Grubhub that helps deliver cookies using the app. However, that didn’t have much effect in closing the gap.

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic is majorly responsible for the disadvantaged sales, there was another contributing factor. It was reported that the 109-year-old organization experienced a fall in membership.

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts membership has dropped by a whopping 30% since 2009. In 2019, just 1.7 million girls all over the nation were inducted into the prestigious organization.

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The Girl Scouts council is working to ensure the troops are not left financially responsible for the unsold snacks. Instead, they urge people to buy online through its Hometown Heroes program that helps deliver cookies to essential workers.

Also, they have extended the deadline for sales. A spokesperson for the organization explained they had incorporated a freshness policy to only sell out cookies produced for a season.

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All leftover cookies are to be donated to different charitable organizations. The reported low sales come a month after it was reported that an Atlanta warehouse for Girl Scout has about $3 million worth of unsold cookies.

Atlanta Girl Scout members have extended their sales season to give troops more time to sell their leftover cookie boxes while asking customers to make purchases on the organizations' website.

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