Since 2020, shortages have spread across industries, but this one hits right in the sweet tooth. The Girl Scouts of the USA are in a cookie shortage.
Girl Scout troops sell ~200m cookies per year, bringing in ~$800m to fund activities. They’re so popular, other cookie companies cut advertising and lower sales expectations during the January-to-April selling season.
But this year…
… cookies are in short supply, especially for online shoppers.
When the Girl Scouts began selling cookies in 1917, members baked them. But as sales scaled, troops turned to commercial bakers.
Today, ABC Bakers in Virginia makes ~25% of the cookies, and Ferrero-owned Little Brownie Bakers (LBB) in Kentucky makes ~75%, per CNBC.
Since January, LBB has experienced delays due to supply chain issues, labor shortages, and weather-related power outages. Ferrero maintains it’s still on track to meet initial orders, but many Girl Scouts have been unable to meet their sales goals.
And then there’s eBay
The saddest kind of reseller has got to be a Girl Scout cookie reseller, but here we are.
The hottest flavor is Raspberry Rally, a new limited-edition “sister” to Thin Mints. Typically, they go for $4-$7 per box, but the often sold-out cookies are now listed on eBay for up to 5x as much, per The New York Times.
Assuming this isn’t the work of a particularly entrepreneurial middle schooler, the troops aren’t benefiting financially from the increased demand.
For that reason…
… and because they can’t guarantee quality otherwise, the Girl Scouts have asked buyers to purchase only through local troops. Speaking of, you can find yours here.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less