10 Surprising Secrets About Girl Scout Cookies

We dish up who-knew, fun facts about Girl Scout Cookies, America’s most beloved treat.

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It’s America’s Number One Cookie Brand

From January through March, Girl Scout cookies are the top-selling cookie brand in the United States. The rest of the year, Oreos top the list. You can still get copycat Girl Scout cookies from Aldi’s, all through the year.

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They’re a Major Fundraising Tool

Over 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold each year which results in about $700 million in sales a year. Of the money raised, about 75% stays with the local council, 25% goes to the bakeries and 10% goes back to Girl Scouts HQ for licensing royalties. Don’t miss these 16 business secrets from the savviest Girl Scout cookie sellers.

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Thin Mints Are The Most Popular Cookie

Thin Mints account for a quarter of all sales. Samoas (also known as Caramel deLites) make up 19% of sales and Peanut Butter Patties, or Tagalongs, come in at 13%.

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There Are Millions Baked Every Day

During peak bake times, Girl Scout cookie producers bake over 4.5 million Thin Mints per day. That’s right, per day. Out of cookie season? Check out these Girl Scout cookie-flavored coffees.

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The Recipes Have Been Updated

These recipes contain no preservatives and zero trans fats per serving. In 2019, Girl Scouts introduced their second gluten-free cookie, the Caramel Chocolate Chip—the first being the Toffee-tastic. Additionally, Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties cookies are vegan. Speaking of updates, have you checked out the Girl Scouts’ newest cookie?

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The Number of Cookies Per Box Has Reduced

In 2009, the cost of baking Girl Scout cookies rose, but rather than opt for a price spike, the organization stuffed fewer cookies in boxes of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Do-si-dos.

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The First Cookies Were Home-Baked

Before the business exploded, in the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts around America baked their own sugar cookies and sold them to raise money for their activities. You can still bake your own at home with these Girl Scout cookie copycat recipes.

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There Was a Year With No Cookies

During World War II, there was a shortage of sugar, flour and butter throughout the United States. Because of this, Girl Scouts sold calendars in lieu of cookies in 1942. Due to coronavirus restrictions, we might’ve had a repeat in 2021—but the Girl Scouts chose to sell their cookies online instead.

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They Can Be Sold Anywhere

In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia sold cookies in the city’s gas and electric company windows. Back then, a box of 44 cookies rang in at 23 cents, or you could splurge for six boxes at $1.24. Do you know your state’s favorite Girl Scout cookie?

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Girl Scouts Are Leaders

An estimated 74% of women in the U.S. Senate and 58% of women in Congress are Girl Scouts alumnae.

Now that you know all of the Girl Scouts’ cookie secrets, check out these recipes that will help you earn a Girl Scout badge or two.

Sources: ABC Smart Cookies, officially licensed Girl Scout Cookie baker for more than 75 years, GirlScouts.orgMentalFloss.com

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest