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New tracker app aids in Girl Scout Cookie sales


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By Hannah Smith




It’s Girl Scout Cookies season. This means the traditional Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs are once again for sale. Although this year marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, there are some changes.

Girl Scouts have decided to take their cookie sales into the future by using
technology.

If people are having problems locating cookies, said Deanna Potterf, the media contact for the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, there’s now an application to assist them.

“They can register where they’re having Girl Scout Cookie sale booths,” Potterf said. “They upload that information into this online tool, and then that information is put on our Girl Scout Cookie app. (Consumers) can search and look for Girl Scout Cookies being sold in their area.”

The app is available for smart phones, and it’s free. It’s called FindCookies, and a user can either use his or her current location or enter a city, state or zip code to locate cookies. The app will then provide a list of registered cookie locations, along with the hours Girl Scouts will be there and directions.

It can also be used to see where cookies will be up to a week ahead of time.
“Last year was the first kind of big year for the cookie app, and it’s been really popular this year,” Potterf said. “We had an increase in sales last year.”

There’s another possible increase, as well — in price.

Girl Scout Cookies prices can vary based on where the cookies are being sold, and there is no real national regulation in that pricing, Potterf said.

“There’s nothing really governing how much a package of Girl Scout Cookies costs,” she said.

Different councils regulate different geographical Girl Scout areas.

“Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, we serve 45 counties in Indiana, 41,000 girls,” Potterf said. “We are chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA.”

In this region, which includes Monroe County, Girl Scout Cookies are being sold for $3.50.

But in the north, the price is different.

Julie Somogyi, the director of integrated marketing and communications for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, said their cookies are being sold for $4 a box.

She said their own board members decided on this price by evaluating their geographic area, and that the price depends on which vendor the cookies are being bought from.

“There are actually two licensed Girl Scout Cookie bakers,” Potterf said. “And they’re licensed by our organizations. One cookie baker is called Little Brownie Bakers.”

This is the vendor used by the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

The second vendor is based in Richmond, Va., and is called America’s Best Cookies, Potterf said.

Prices from these two vendors might vary, causing the overall price to change.

“It depends on which of the two vendors the council elects to go to,” Somogyi said. “We have Thin Mints across the board, for example. There are, I believe, four cookies that both vendors must provide, and then they can round out with a couple of different options.”

Despite variations in cost — and despite the present economic conditions — Potterf said they’re expecting sales to increase this year once again, as they did
last year.

“Right now, what we have as far as facts is initial orders,” Potterf said. “Initial orders were up. We were up in the amount of Girl Scout Cookies that were sold, and we’re hoping that cookies will be up again this year.”

Potterf also said all proceeds from cookie sales, aside from paying the vendors, stay in the community.

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