Girl Scout cookie season shifts to online sales to provide for contactless deliveries

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By MIA ARANDA

Due to COVID-19, Girl Scouts have shifted from door-to-door sales and booths in front of stores to selling cookies online via their own personal link. In order to provide for contactless sales, customers have the choice to have their cookie order directly shipped to their house for an additional shipping fee or delivered to them locally for no extra charge by the Girl Scout.

After clicking on a Girl Scout’s personal cookie link, customers are prompted with two options for cookie delivery: direct ship or girl delivery. Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio’s sales last from Jan. 24 to March 21. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

Girl Scouts may set up cookie booths on their own property, but a sneeze guard and a mask are both indispensable for the safety of customers and the Girl Scout. 

In face of this new challenge, this is not the first time Girl Scouts have had to modify their sales. In fact, Girl Scouts sold calendars in lieu of cookies in 1944 as World War II prompted a shortage of cooking ingredients, such as eggs, milk, and sugar. 

The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, known as GSSGC, serves all of Riverside County and the greater part of San Bernardino county. Their cookie season commenced on Jan. 24. 

Citrus Valley High School freshman Samantha Fujiwara, a part of Girl Scout troop 1250, said, “I think that all the requirements to sell to others are necessary to maintain the safety of both the girls and the customers. I really like the online ordering format because it is really organized and easy to keep track of and take people’s orders.”

Fujiwara’s fellow Girl Scout troop member Haley Bond, CVHS freshman, finds it harder to sell cookies this year as “most of [her] cookie sales came from booths.” 

Previously, Girl Scouts could work available cookie booth shifts in front of stores for two to three hours at a time. At the end of the season in March, their total booth hours worked is multiplied by the average number of cookies sold per hour at booths, yielding a total number of sales that would be credited to their individual sales. Many Girl Scouts, like Bond, relied on working store booths heavily in order to benefit their total sales later on. 

In GSSGC, every box of cookies sold yields 90 cents of profit toward that particular troop. Many troops utilize this money to pay for each troop members’ annual registration fee or for Girl Scout sponsored activities, such as camp.

Despite the modifications for this cookie season, Girl Scouts are seen marketing more on their social media accounts as they advertise their personal cookie link. 

“The only problem with the online sales is that you have to do a lot of advertising to get people to order,” Fujiwara says. “People are more likely to buy when we are asking them directly.”

Fujiwara’s marketing strategies include advertising on her Instagram and her mother’s Facebook account, in addition to reaching out separately to close friends and family. 

Additionally, Girl Scouts have partnered with the online food ordering company GrubHub. The following link is used for customers to input their zip code in order to be matched with local GrubHub cookie deliveries near them, before proceeding to order. Cookie purchases through GrubHub directly benefit the troop that was signed up for its delivery slot. 

Link to order cookies through GrubHub: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/all-about-cookies.html

Girl Scouts have also introduced a new cookie flavor this year, called Toast-Yays, which are described as French toast flavored cookies dipped in icing.

Girl Scouts instituted a new French toast inspired cookie flavor this year. Toast-Yays were introduced as a result of Thanks-A-Lots being discontinued. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

GSSGC ends its cookie season on March 21.

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