Frequently Asked Questions - Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies can be purchased from girls participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program® only during your local council’s cookie season. Find cookies, learn when cookie season starts in your community, and locate cookie sale booths by simply entering your zip code in the Find Cookies search box.
Try our free mobile Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for your iOS or Android device. You can search for cookie sales in your neighborhood, get details on your favorite Girl Scout Cookies, and use social media to tell your friends.
Every Girl Scout Cookie purchase fuels local Girl Scouts’ adventures throughout the year, exploring what interests them, discovering their passions, and taking action on issues they care about. Whether they’re using their STEM skills to solve a problem, changing a law to help their community, having a courageous outdoor experience, or starting an innovative nonprofit, Girl Scouts build a better future for themselves and the world. And we know that Girl Scouts have an entrepreneurial edge compared to their non-member peers according to The Girl Scout Research Institute's research report, Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs (PDF). This study also revealed that girls want more opportunities to practice and develop entrepreneurial skills and the Girl Scout Cookie Program is just the right place to do, learn and grow.
Yes, if you know a Girl Scout who is participating in Digital Cookie. The Digital Cookie platform keeps girls front and center as we move beyond the booth and offer a convenient way for consumers to buy cookies online and support girls at the same time.
Depending on the council, girls will either use a personalized cookie website, mobile app, ecard, or direct link to ask their customers to make a purchase. If you know a Girl Scout, tell her you’re interested in becoming a Digital Cookie customer—and she’ll take it from there. If you don’t know a Girl Scout, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org.
Only registered Girl Scouts can sell Girl Scout Cookies. We caution against purchases of Girl Scout Cookies found for sale online at auction, community list sites, or sites such as eBay and Amazon, because GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, and our licensed cookie bakers cannot guarantee the freshness or integrity of these cookies. In many instances, these cookies are expired, or the sellers are using Girl Scout intellectual property without our authorization. Further, purchasing cookies in this way does not support Girl Scouts participating in the Cookie Program.
Girl Scout Cookies purchased via a girl’s or troop’s Digital Cookie link can be shipped within the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, military or diplomatic locations with an APO/FPO/DPO address. If you know a Girl Scout, tell her you’re interested in becoming a Digital Cookie customer—and she’ll take it from there. If you don’t know a Girl Scout, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world, but it is just one part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts participate in varied activities throughout the year and work on many projects. The cookie program is just one of those activities. And because only registered Girl Scouts may sell Girl Scout Cookies, their market availability is normally limited to the six-to eight-week period when girls are engaged in the program through their local council.
If, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied with a package of Girl Scout Cookies, contact the baker. The baker contact information is listed on the side of each package, or you may contact ABC Bakers directly.
Every Girl Scout Cookie package is stamped with a seasonal “use or freeze by” date. Girl Scout Cookies with a 2022 date would be baked for the 2021–2022 season.
Cookies at Girl Scouts of Silver sage cost $5 per box. Today's prices reflect both the current cost of cookies and the realities of providing Girl Scout programming in an ever-changing economic environment. Remember, the proceeds stay with your local council and troop to power amazing experiences for girls.
Girl Scout Cookies are sold by weight, not by size or number. The number and size of cookies vary by variety and by baker. This information is featured on every package. You can learn more about the cookies on the Meet the Cookies page of our website.
Each Girl Scout council chooses a licensed baker, either ABC Bakers or Little Brownie Bakers. A cookie may be called Caramel deLites when baked by one baker and Samoas when baked by the other. The two cookies look and taste similar, but the name of the cookie and the recipe may be different. The exceptions are Thin Mints® , Adventurefuls™, and Raspberry Rally, which are names used by both bakers. Even if Girl Scout Cookie names are the same, the recipes may differ.
GSUSA collaborates with both licensed bakers in the development of Girl Scout Cookies. Any new additions or optimizations to products in the portfolio are approved by GSUSA. Councils select the baker for their area, which dictates the varieties offered in that area.
To see a list of all current varieties of Girl Scout Cookies, along with pictures and descriptions, go to Meet the Cookies.
The best-selling Girl Scout Cookies are:
We encourage consumers concerned about sugar intake to discuss dietary options with a doctor or registered dietitian.
For consumer convenience, each of our licensed bakers lists dietary exchanges on the cookie information pages of their websites, so people with diabetes and parents of children with diabetes can make informed choices. The amount of sugar and carbohydrates is also listed on each cookie package.
This information is clearly listed on both the cookie package and the cookie order form. You can also find the information on the Meet the Cookies page of our website or on the Cookie Finder app.
With special regard for allergen concerns, our bakers bake Girl Scout Cookies in state-of-the-art facilities, and consumers can be assured that every required safety protocol is adhered to in order to prevent cross-contact of ingredients. Consumers with additional questions can find out more by visiting the baker websites: ABC Bakers.
All packaged goods in the U.S., including Girl Scout Cookies, are required to include a mandatory allergen disclosure identifying any of the top 8 food allergens present as ingredients either in the ingredients list or through a “Contains” statement. A precautionary allergen disclosure (“Made in shared facility with”) was added to all Girl Scout Cookie packaging labels last season to ensure transparency about any allergens that may be present in the bakery where Girl Scout Cookies are made. For more information, check out Meet the Cookies. If you have concerns as to whether a product is right for you, please check with your healthcare provider.
Palm oil is an ingredient found in the majority of baked snacks sold in the United States and is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. Per GSUSA's licensed bakers, it is necessary to use palm oil in our cookies because of its unique ability to provide volume and texture in baked goods, usually without adding trans fats. Additionally, growing palm oil requires less land in comparison to other vegetable oils and supports the livelihoods of more than 4 million farmers globally. Although we continue to explore alternatives, currently, there are no viable or readily available alternatives for use in the production of Girl Scout Cookies.
The world's food supply is intricately tied to the use of palm oil, so we believe promoting sustainable manufacturing principles is the most responsible approach for Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Cookie development. At Girl Scouts, we have an opportunity to use our strong voice to bring about positive change on this important issue, and our bakers have made the following commitments:
GSUSA and our licensed bakers are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a non-profit organization of growers, buyers, manufacturers, conservationists, and other interested parties striving to develop and follow best practices to ensure an ethical supply chain.
Our licensed bakers are committed to Sustainable Palm Oil in Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scout Cookies baked by both ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers use Mass Balance RSPO certified palm oil and include the RSPO Mass Balance logo on their packaging (i.e., RSPO “Mixed” certification label)
Both bakers’ future goal is to achieve 100% RSPO-segregated certified palm oil products for all Girl Scout Cookies they produce. They continue to work with their suppliers to explore strategies and timelines to achieve this goal.
Thanks to the encouragement of and partnership with Girl Scout members, GSUSA and our bakers have realized the power of the Girl Scout brand to make a positive difference in the move towards sustainably produced and ethically sourced palm oil.
Girl Scout Cookies are produced once a year, making the production of specialty cookies difficult. In addition, the demand has not been great enough to make it economically feasible. We trust our licensed bakers, who are industry leaders, to produce the best-tasting and highest-quality cookies while simultaneously addressing industry trends; scientific trends; and, of course, consumer needs including dietary restrictions and preferences. Don’t forget to check the labels, you may find a variety that fits your dietary restrictions or goals.
Yes. Responding to an important consumer trend, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage will be selling either the gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip Girl Scout Cookies. For more information, visit the Meet the Cookies page of our website.
Sustainability refers to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors that an organization addresses to provide value not only to consumers but also to the world. GSUSA is also working with its bakers toward sustainable and ethical sourcing of Girl Scout Cookie ingredients, including sustainably sourced palm oil. GSUSA is also working with its bakers to improve the environmental footprint of its cookie packaging, as we recognize the need to reduce emissions and the number of materials used as much as possible. Furthermore, Girl Scouts can choose to use their troop cookie earnings on environmental stewardship and conservation projects.
GSUSA is committed to providing cookie customers with the highest-quality products available. We understand that customers have questions about the foods they choose to eat, and GSUSA works alongside its trusted bakers to develop recipes using ingredients that will produce the best-tasting and highest-quality cookies.
Currently, Girl Scout Cookies contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Girl Scouts recognizes that many people have concerns about GMO ingredients, and we monitor member and consumer opinion on this matter while simultaneously addressing industry trends; scientific trends; and, of course, consumer preference.
It is important to note that there is worldwide scientific support for the safety of currently commercialized ingredients derived from GMO agricultural crops. The World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Medical Association all share this assessment. It is also important to note that in the future, GMO ingredients may offer new, cost-effective alternatives to feeding the world’s growing population.
RSPO stands for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a global association established in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. The RSPO “Mixed” certification label signifies that our bakers have “contributed to the production of certified sustainable palm oil.” In order to use the logo, our bakers were audited by the RSPO to ensure its compliance with the RSPO criteria. Visit https://www.rspo.org/ to learn more about RSPO.
Recycling is community dependent. Girl Scout Cookie packages may or may not be accepted by your local recycling service depending on the types of materials it processes.
The box packaging for many of our cookies is made from paper and is recyclable. It contains 100% recycled content so may have been recycled numerous times already!
Several Girl Scout Cookie varieties are produced in soft pack packaging only, without a carton. The film overwrap is like the protective wrapping found inside the packages of all cookie varieties and is recyclable in certain markets. While the shift to film overwrap has eliminated thousands of pounds of paperboard from the waste stream and the reduction in packaging weight has saved thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, the material may not be accepted by some local recycling services.
Some Girl Scout Cookie varieties come with a plastic tray inside either the box or soft pack and is used to protect the cookies during transport. The material may not be accepted by some local recycling services.
We continue to work with our bakers to evaluate ways to maximize the recyclability of the package, while maintaining freshness and shelf life.
All registered girl members of Girl Scouts may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Although parents and Girl Scout adults may assist, girls make the sale, set learning and sales goals, learn to think like entrepreneurs, and gain five essential skills that are part of the program.
Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is voluntary and requires written permission from a parent or guardian. The experience helps girls learn essential life skills while powering amazing troop experiences for girls year-round.
We caution against purchasing Girl Scout Cookies for sale online at auction, community list sites, or sites such as eBay and Amazon, because GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, and our licensed cookie bakers cannot guarantee the freshness or integrity of these cookies. In many instances, these cookies are expired or are using Girl Scout intellectual property without our authorization. Further, purchasing cookies in this way does not support Girl Scouts participating in the cookie program.
Yes! To do so, registered Girl Scouts must abide by guidelines published by GSUSA and Girl Scouts of Silver Sage and be supervised by a council-trained adult. For more information about how Girl Scouts can participate email email@example.com
Each Girl Scout council determines its precise method of helping Girl Scouts sell cookies to customers. Cookies can generally be purchased via the following means, or some combination thereof:
Preorder. Girl Scout councils provide participating girls with an order card and, for some, access to a mobile app to collect orders from potential customers. Girls turn in their order cards, the council orders the cookies, and then girls go back to the customer to deliver the cookies a few weeks later.
Direct sale. Participating Girl Scouts sell cookies directly to customers, bypassing the order-card process.
Booth sales. Participating girls sell cookies at booths authorized by councils and set up inside and outside various retail establishments. To find a cookie booth near you or learn when cookies go on sale, simply enter your zip code in the Find Cookies! search box. The safety, health and wellbeing of our girls and volunteers is and must be our priority. Girl Scout councils should comply with local and federal social distancing guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online and mobile sales. Through Digital Cookie, girls can sell online and through mobile devices. Many girls enjoy marketing their online sale by inviting customers, via an email or social media link, to visit their personalized cookie websites. Other girls take in-person orders using a mobile app designed specifically for Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program may only sell cookies according to their council’s policies and procedures and within the council’s published sales dates.
The safety, health and wellbeing of our girls and volunteers is and must be our priority. All Girl Scouts should comply with local and federal social distancing guidance during COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work with our councils and monitor the pandemic in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and local regulations.
Girl Scouts may earn official Cookie Business, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship badges at every level of Girl Scouting. Girls earn badges based on completing established program activities that allow them to build new skills year after year. Girls may also earn the Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pin with support from their families as girls set individual goals and identify business tactics that support their troop goals.
In 2021, GSUSA released new Cookie Business badges that help girls think like entrepreneurs as they run their own cookie businesses and incorporate online sales via Digital Cookie. The Cookie Business badges progress from goal-setting and effective sales-pitching in person and online to using market research, creating business plans, and implementing digital marketing campaigns. Separately, girls can earn rewards based on their sales activity, such as recognition items and program credits.
Yes! Girl Scouts may participate in a council-approved "Gift of Caring" or “Cookie Share” program that allows girls to collect donations of cookies for military personnel or local charities.
To ensure freshness, Girl Scouts only sell cookies produced for the current season. Therefore, if a council or troop has cookies left at the end of the sale, GSUSA encourages them to work with local food pantries and other charitable organizations to distribute cookies as a special treat for people seeking food relief services. GSUSA works with our licensed bakers to ensure that they also have an annual plan for responsibly managing leftover cookie inventory.
The Girl Scout Cookie Program has never been about individual sales results but rather the program outcomes, through which girls learn important entrepreneurial and life skills and invest their earnings in powering troop activities year-round. GSUSA does not currently track the top seller(s) of Girl Scout Cookies on a national level. There are many impressive cookie bosses throughout the United States, and the Girl Scout Movement will continue to recognize those girls as top sellers. However, GSUSA does not currently identify a specific Girl Scout as the number one or “record-breaking” national cookie seller, because doing so does not highlight the essence of the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
The program strives to offer girls important experiences in entrepreneurship, business, and finance from a young age, as well as provide girls and Girl Scout councils with the funding necessary for a variety of activities and programs throughout the troop year. Our 111 councils, which handle their own sales tracking, may continue to track their top sellers locally to showcase the skills girls learn and the incredible ways in which girls are investing their cookie earnings to create positive change in their communities.
When you buy delicious Girl Scout Cookies, you’re helping power new, unique, and amazing experiences for Girl Scouts that broaden their worlds, teach them essential life skills, and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership.
The net proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales stay local with the originating council and troop to fund activities for girls year-round as well as impactful girl-led community projects. Each council determines its own revenue structure depending on how much it costs the council to buy cookies, the local retail price to sell cookies, and the amount of revenue shared with participating troops.
Cookie program revenue is a critical source of funding for Girl Scout councils to deliver essential programming to troops and is often what makes it possible to reach girls in underserved areas and maintain camps and properties.
Girl Scouts pool their money as a troop and use it to fuel their Girl Scout adventures throughout the year, including in STEM, outdoor experiences, travel, and community projects. Girl Scouts may not earn proceeds as individuals. However, Girl Scout councils offer a wide variety of recognition items, program and store-related credits, and travel experiences that girls are eligible to earn individually based on their sales. All troop proceeds and group rewards earned through participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program must be used to enhance all girls in the group’s Girl Scout experience.
No. All Girl Scout Cookie sale proceeds stay local. GSUSA is paid a royalty by its licensed bakers to use Girl Scout trademarks based on gross annual sales. Girl Scout councils do not provide any portion of their cookie revenue to GSUSA, and no other revenue from cookie sales goes to GSUSA.
If you buy Girl Scout Cookies and take the cookies home (to consume them), you've purchased a product at a fair market value. For this reason, Girl Scout Cookies used in this way are not tax-deductible.
Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more packages of cookies for use in community projects or as part of a council-approved Gift of Caring or Cookie Share program. If you would like an acknowledgement of your donation for tax-deductible purposes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
After paying the bakers, the net proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales are retained by the originating council and troop to power amazing experiences for girls and impactful girl-led community projects. Girl Scout troops set goals for how to spend their proceeds on program-related activities, such as paying their own way to a community event or museum. Girl Scout troops may also choose to use proceeds to purchase materials for a project to benefit the community.
GSUSA approves all marketing and sales materials developed by the bakers. GSUSA also provides councils with coordination and training for media activities, safety standards for girls and volunteers, a world-renowned girl leadership program, and support during cookie season.