DENVER, CO – If there are three things you can count on each year in Denver it’s taxes, the Salvation Army Santas ringing the bells outside the grocery stores, and the Girl Scouts selling their famous cookies.
This year the Girl Scouts of America had 15 million boxes of unsold cookies, and the company is battling the expiration date to sell all of the goodies.
You won’t be able to satisfy your craving for a box of Caramel deLites or sodas. But you can make sure they’re not going to waste in Denver.
The excess biscuits are not available individually BUT anyone interested can purchase biscuits that will be donated to first aiders, chalkboards and other worthy causes.
Here are five things you should know about the biscuit glut:
1. Why didn’t they sell?
The organization blames the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the oversupply of cookies. Pandemic precautions forced many troops to cancel their traditional stall sales, The Associated Press and other news outlets reported.
By the spring when cookie sales began, COVID-19 precautions were still in place and virus cases were nearing their peak, with hundreds of Girl Scouts avoiding in-person sales and instead focusing on moving inventory through online sales.
The organization, which is celebrating its 110th anniversary next year, has created virtual cookie stalls to keep Boy Scouts safe while they continue to sell cookies. Individual troops set up links, and people in need of a Girl Scout cookie fix can order them via app or text message.
In New Mexico, Girl Scouts got creative trying to sell cookies in drive-through booths with contactless delivery, Rebecca Latham, CEO of New Mexico Trails Girl Scouts, told The Associated Press.
In January, the Girl Scouts teamed up with Grubhub, who agreed to waive their fees to sell and deliver biscuits.
But despite these efforts, there are still 15 million boxes of unsold biscuits.
“This is unfortunate, but since this is a girl-run program and most of the cookies are sold in person, it was to be expected,” Kelly Parisi, a spokeswoman for the US Girl Scouts, told The Associated Press.
2. How many are normally sold?
In a typical year, Girl Scouts sell around 200 million boxes or $ 800 million worth of biscuits.
Troops in the Latham area typically sell 805,000 boxes of biscuits, but this year they sold close to 600,000, The Associated Press reported.
Despite lower expectations for this year’s sales, “the biscuit orders their 111 communities placed with bakers last fall were still over-optimistic,” Parisi told The Associated Press.
3. How to donate
Girl Scout Cookies donation is $ 5 per box and there are no shipping costs. So far around 5,000 boxes of biscuits have been donated.
The Girl Scouts set a goal to donate 1 million of the 3 million remaining boxes for which they are financially responsible.
Two bakeries have around 12 million boxes of unopened biscuits while Boy Scout Councils have the remaining 3 million, The Associated Press said.
The bakeries are not allowed to sell directly to grocers as the organization does not want to belittle the importance and specialty of the annual biscuit sale, The Associated Press said. The bakeries can potentially sell direct to institutional buyers such as prisons.
4. What are the financial implications?
The councils are not held financially responsible for the 12 million boxes that are in the two bakeries, but they are responsible for the 3 million boxes in their possession.
Latham told The Associated Press that the loss of revenue on her council will affect the organization’s ability to invest in improving infrastructure at Boy Scout camps and fill some staff positions.
5. Do they get bad?
Yes, the cookies have a shelf life of 12 months.
Next year, expect the Girl Scouts to be back in full force. Membership, which has declined during the pandemic, is already recovering, Parisi told The AP.
Some changes related to the coronavirus – like the partnership with Grubhub – are likely to continue in future cookie seasons, Parisi told The AP, but the Girl Scouts are keen to reopen their stands next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.