Cookie sales defy struggling supply chain


Rhonda Bletner - [email protected]



GALION — What is the most searched for Girl Scout Cookie in Ohio?

According to the Food Network, a January Google Search trend revealed the search for Girl Scout cookie varieties varies from state to state; but in all states the most sought-after cookies are Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Thin Mints (the most searched for of all time and the most popular in Ohio), and the new Adventurefuls.

In Galion, Cindy Conner’s Girl Scout troops is selling strong.

“Samoas are like our third or fourth biggest seller, said Conner of the crisp cookies that are sprinkled with toasted coconut and coated with dark chocolate.

”The last couple of years Do-si-dohs have been passing them up. In the first three weeks, the Adventurefuls have topped the Samoas, but the baker couldn’t keep up and we haven’t gotten any Adventurefuls since then. We only got the Adventurefuls during our initial sales and then we had to quit selling them,” she added.

Adventurefuls are described as “a brownie-inspired cookie topped with caramel flavored crème with a hint of sea salt.” They sound delicious, but you won’t find them unless you pre-ordered Girl Scout cookies.

“It is cookie season until March 20th,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland Council Tammy Wharton.

And yes, there have been some delays.

“There are about 1.7 million packages of cookies that go out. So, you can imagine it is a delivery chain jigsaw puzzle. There can be weather delays. COVID’s hit, so there’s been trucker shortages; and then the bakers had some challenges with getting all of the cookies baked in time for some of the deliveries,Wharton said.

“COViD has had its ugly hands on the cookie program this year. However, if you think about it, we look at it as a way the of the girls learning about the supply chain. The girls are learning about what’s happening in the world, in real time, through their cookie program,”

“They are learning some additional tools of communication: how to communicate when their customers are going to get their cookies, how to share what is happening, and share the program. And maybe you’re not going to get the Adventurefuls, the new cookie – an adventure in every box, and finding them at this point can be an adventure,” Wharton continued.

The demand has been high, and supply and demand is a lesson for the Scouts through the cookie program, as well as what’s happening in the world at large.

“If we go into a store and they see the store shelves, the girls are learning that products are skimpy on the shelves, so it’s not surprising that we’re facing some of the same challenges. If you think about the entire supply chain, getting ingredients to the bakery is the start of that supply chain” Wharton noted.

“We’re trying to teach life lessons in this very challenging time. Our hearts are going out to the girls that are learning these life lessons. Our hope is that the consumers are still supporting the girls if their favorite variety isn’t in the booth.”

Connor’s Galion troop is unique and they have big plans for their cookie sales. She has 13 Scouts from second grade through grade 11: four levels.

“This is my eleventh year as a leader. When I first started, I had all Brownies. Then the year after that, half my girls were aging into a new level so I had enough volunteers that we kept levels in the troop together. Then their little sisters were going into kindergarten, so it just expanded,” she said.

“I couldn’t do it without the volunteers I have in my troop because each age level has its own volunteer,” she added.

Their cookies sales are going well, even a bit ahead of their sales last year even though Adeventurefuls are sold out and Samoas are on hold. They had a cookie booth recently at Wal-Mart that they divided into two shifts and they sold 324 boxes of cookies in one day.

Connor’s older Scouts, six girls, are saving their money to go to Alaska this summer. They will go on a whale-watching cruise, go to the top of a glacier for a dog sledding excursion, a trip to Denali Park, and they hope to mine gold and see some of the wildlife.

“Oh, and two of them want to have a snowball fight in their shorts,” Connor added, laughing, “So we have to make sure we do that.”

“Some of them have been saving a couple of years to go on this trip. They do other fundraisers too, like bake sales and the Bistro uptown is going to help us do a pasta dinner, so that will hopefully bring in some money for them too,” she said.

Conner’s younger Scouts choose smaller activities. In the past they’ve gone to Build-A-Bear, where they can make a Girl Scout cookie bear, like a Samoa Bear and a Thin Mint Bear. They also did a dinosaur dig in Toledo and overnights and COSI and the zoo.

This year’s cookie sales theme is “Climb with Courage.” The Girl Scouts learn the five skills associated with the program: money management, people skills, goal setting, business ethics, and communication skills, and Conner’s girls are working on that climb.

From each box of cookies sold a portion goes to the cost of the cookies; a portion goes to the Scout troop for projects or rewards they choose; and a portion goes to the Scout Council, which here in Ohio is the Heartland Council, for council support services like upkeep of the camp and volunteer training.

For anyone who wants to support the program or just loves the cookies but doesn’t know a Girl Scout, or hasn’t seen them selling them, go to gsoh.org/findcookies.html and type in your zip code. There is an option to order from a troop near you and there is also a listing of booths (places and time where the Scouts will be set up in your area.

For example, a booth is scheduled to be set up at Advanced Auto, 170 Portland Way N, Galion on Saturday, March 12 from 12-6 p.m.

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Rhonda Bletner

[email protected]