Inflation and Supply Chain Woes Are Reportedly Even Affecting Girl Scout Cookies

by Suzanne Halliburton

Say it isn’t so! Supply chain issues are even impacting Girl Scout cookies.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Kentucky bakery supplying the tasty treats to the majority of the geographic areas is having production delays.

In a statement to the WSJ, officials with Girl Scouts of the USA confirmed the problem Little Brownie Bakers was having supplying the cookies to groups across the country. The bakery, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, supplies Girl Scout cookies to 75 of the country’s 111 geographic areas.

“We anticipate some councils will be largely unaffected, while other councils and girls may not reach their cookie goals,” The Girls Scouts of the USA said.

The annual Girl Scout cookies season, which comes after the major holidays, is a tasty tradition. However, it’s more than just Thin Mints. The cookie sales generate about 70 percent of the operating revenue for the country’s Girl Scouts councils. That translates to about $800 million. Each troop decides how to spend the money from their cookie sales. It’s generally used for he troops’ activities, along with donations to charities and financial aid for the scouts.

Each year, Americans buy about 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies. The buying season usually ends in April. But some councils may allow the troops to extend the cookie season so that inventory can catch up to sales.

One Mother Had to Drive Extra 40 Minutes to Find Good Supply of Girl Scout Cookies

So far, scout leaders have scrambled to fill orders. The supplies might be limited, but demand is there. Each council has what’s called a “cookie cupboard.” That’s basically a nice way of saying cookie distribution center.

The WSJ interviewed several scouts for its article. One was named Bailey, who is having to explain to her buyers why their favorite Girl Scout cookies aren’t available. (Did you know Thin Mints are the most popular flavor.)

Bailey’s mother, Ellie Laycook, is in charge of cookie sales for her daughter’s troop. Bailey’s troop. She said she needed to drive 40 minutes to find a cookie cupboard that had the seven cookie flavors she needed.

“There’s been a chain of troop leaders saying, ‘I heard from this other troop leader that you have cookies. Do you have cookies you can spare?’ ” Laycook told the WSJ. She told the newspaper that her troup has helped five other groups that were having supply issues.

“It’s part of the Girl Scout Law,” she told the WSJ.

And because selling cookies teaches the scouts good business practices, the supply chain issues also are a learning experience. Say you want a box of Thin Mints. And there aren’t any boxes. A scout may suggest another kind. In other words, push the inventory on hand.

“We encourage everyone to try different flavors if their first choice isn’t available,” the Girl Scouts of the USA said. “And we appreciate their support of girls’ entrepreneurship.”