As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. What if life hands you 15 million Girl Scout cookies?
During the course of the pandemic, consumers created shortages of all kinds of products, from office furniture for their home to workout equipment for their home gyms. That went for almost everything — except Girl Scout cookies.
The Girl Scouts had a surplus of cookies after sales floundered even more than expected during this past cookie season, thanks to the pandemic – 15 million packages as a matter of fact.
Those 15 million packages would be about 7.5% of a typical year’s sales of almost 200 million Girl Scout cookie packages sold — roughly $60 million of the $800 million in annual revenue. Each year, there is “a very small percentage” left unsold, according to the organization. Girl Scout cookie season kicks off in January and runs through April.
“This year’s sales figures are largely due to the fact that, historically, the majority of cookie sales come from girls selling in-person versus digital – whether that be a physical booth, selling cookies at a family member’s workplace, or going door-to-door in the community,” according to a statement from the New York headquarters of Girl Scouts. “Girl Scouts prioritized girl safety above all, so our movement forecasted cookie sales to be down this season. This is unfortunate but — given this is a girl-driven program and the majority of cookies are sold in-person by girls at booths or other face-to-face methods — it was to be expected.”
The drop in sales means a decline in revenue for the 111 local Girl Scout councils, which receive 100% of the proceeds from cookie sales. So now the Girl Scouts launched a donation-only site to support the cookie program and donate cookies to first respondents, food banks, and other causes.
“We did everything we could to mitigate the losses to recoup lost revenue in addition to helping the bakers sell through their inventory,” according to the Girl Scouts’ statement. “The outpouring of support for the cookie program has been overwhelming.”
As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.