Forget about using PayPal. Girl Scouts don’t sell cookies over the internet.
The 2009 Girl Scout cookie season was a rough one thanks to one very wired Brownie. 3rd grader Wild Freeborn posted a YouTube video in which she made a cookie sales pitch in all her adorably fidgety, 8-year old glory. Other scout troops cried foul, fearing that Wild’s tactics would poach customers from their territories. When the Girl Scouts pulled the plug on her video, Wild took her story to the media. She made the rounds of the morning news shows, appeared on the cover of Newsweek, and in the pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
For the 2010 cookie season kicking off this week, the girls still can’t sell cookies online, but the Girl Scouts organization has loosened the rules to include many forms of online marketing, and has established its own web presence. There’s Facebook and MySpace pages, close-up cookie porn on Flickr, an online shop selling cookie-related merchandise, and an electronic cookie finder to locate the girls in green near you. And of course Wild Freeborn is at it again with an open letter to the cookie-buying public that is making the rounds through cyberspace.
Meet this year’s lineup
Girl Scout cookies are big business netting the group about $400 million annually, despite wildly inefficient sales and distribution and merely a weeks-long selling season. Top selling Thin Mints are the third-best selling cookie in the nation, trailing only Oreos and Chips Ahoy. There are some regional differences in cookie varieties and prices, but you can always count on peanut butter Tagalogs and Do-Si-Do’s, fudge striped coconut Somoas, shortbread Trefoils embossed with the Girl Scouts’ logo, and the enduring and irresistible Thin Mints. This year, the scouts are introducing Thank You Berry Munch with cranberries and white fudge chips.
We all have our favorites. Vote for yours at CookieVote.com. For each vote tallied, the girls will send a handmade card to go with the cookies they ship overseas to U.S. troops.
Gone but not forgotten: visit Slashfood’s tribute to discontinued Girl Scout cookie varieties.
Bake your own at home with recipes from BakingBites.
At Hugs for Soldiers you can donate your purchase back to the Girl Scouts and they will ship them to U.S. soldiers stationed around the world.
From the Addams Family movie: While running a lemonade stand, Wednesday and Pugsley encounter a Girl Scout cookie-seller. Girl Scout, inquiring about the lemonade: “Is it made from real lemons?” Wednesday, regarding the cookies: “Are they made from real Girl Scouts?” Visit Wikipedia for more pop culture references to Girl Scout cookies.