Need your Girl Scout cookie fix? There's an app, truck and plastic for that

CNN/ Newswire | 2/13/2013, 7:26 a.m.
2013 marks a milestone for the Girl Scouts, with a century of building "courage, confidence, and character" in young girls ...
Girl Scout Cookies

By Dantel Hood


2013 marks a milestone for the Girl Scouts, with a century of building "courage, confidence, and character" in young girls across the United States and beyond. The organization also celebrates 95 years of one of its most popular programs: the sale of its famously irresistible cookies.

For the 2013 cookie selling season, which takes place between January and April of each year, Girl Scouts of the USA has revamped its business approach, taking innovative measures to broaden customer access and overall appeal.

And these girls will stop at nothing to make their sale.

Over the last 95 years, GSUSA has nurtured a multimillion dollar enterprise focused on teaching young women the ethics of business and entrepreneurship. The program seeks to build confidence and reliability, but not the personal bank accounts of the girls who participate.

"Every penny after paying the baker stays with the local Girl Scout council that supports the sale," said a statement from the organization. Councils use cookie revenue to supply troops, groups, and individual girls with program resources, communication support, adult volunteers and assistance in conducting events.

The statement continued, "We see the opportunity to increase revenues nationwide and change the dialogue about Girl Scout Cookies."

They're baking up some creative ways to get there.

The Girl Scouts redesigned their boxes to appeal to a more modern customer, highlighting the five key principles that the cookie sales program teaches: goal-setting, decision-making, money management, business ethics and people skills.

"For the first time in over a decade we've updated our boxes to really show that actually Girl Scout Cookies are more than just cookies," GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez told CNN's Early Start. "They develop these young ladies into tremendous leaders that are doing amazing things in their communities."

The organization is also making a nod toward health-conscious consumers with the introduction of Mango Crèmes. It's a new cookie featuring mango, coconut, vanilla and "Nutrifusion," a product that "supercharges" foods' nutritional value, according to the maker's website. ABC Bakers, one of only two "Official Girl Scout Cookie Bakers," describes the product as "a mango-flavored creme filling with all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries."

Marketing and promotion strategies have also been overhauled. While tradition has it that Girl Scouts go door-to-door taking orders in their community and later hand-deliver the goods, tech trends have now made it possible for customers to seek out their sweet treat suppliers. The Girl Scout Cookie Finder App, available on iPhone and Android devices, provides GPS coordinates for the nearest cookie sales location.

Additionally, in step with recent food world trends, local troops teamed up with Sweetery NYC, a New York City food truck and mobile bakery, to create the National Girl Scout Cookie Day Truck. On Friday, February 8th, girls from all across the tri-state area rolled up to four different locations at designated intervals throughout the day. The snowstorm raged. The Girl Scouts sold on, securing canopy poles and credit card transactions.