Public appetite for Girl Scout Cookies in South Carolina is through the roof, with a massive uptick in demand for cases in 2022. That’s according to a ‘State of the Cookies’ address delivered this week by Diane Flanagan and Aggie Reyes, two senior officials with the Girl Scouts’ eastern South Carolina district.
“Your girls are selling, like, a lot of cookies and we can’t supply them fast enough for you,” Reyes said in the video, which provided a breakdown on the various logistical issues plaguing this year’s cookie drive.
According to Flanagan and Reyes, there were 38,133 initial orders for cookie cases this year – a 52 percent increase from the previous year. That surge has shown no sign of letting up, either, as orders for the first four weeks have totaled 41,316 cases – up 29.4 percent from last year’s total of 31,910 cases.
For those of you keeping score at home, one case of Girl Scout cookies contains twelve individual boxes.
(Click to view)
(Via: Girl Scouts Eastern South Carolina)
“When (we) go out to cookie booths they are mobbed,” Flanagan said, referring to the Girl Scouts who are selling the cookies out in the community. “They are absolutely mobbed by the public.”
Compounding the rising demand? Supply chain problems – including warehouse shutdowns linked to the latest round of Covid-19 panic.
“Covid shut down our Charleston warehouse for the first two weeks of the sale,” Flanagan said, forcing the tractor trailers carrying these confections to unload them at the Girl Scouts’ corporate parking lot.
As of this writing, the Girl Scouts are still waiting on the arrival of more than 9,300 cases.
“We have run out of cookies a couple of times already,” Flanagan said.
In addition to distribution problems, there have also been any number of issues with the production of the cookies.
Earlier this week, ABC Bakers – a South Dakota-based company that bakes the cookies – told the South Carolina Girl Scouts they could not place any additional orders.
“They did tell us, officially … that we could not order any more cookies at this time,” Flanagan said.
ABC continues to bake the cookies, Flanagan said, it just “cannot keep up with the nationwide demand.”
Additionally, ABC informed the Girl Scouts it had “paused production” on Peanut Butter Sandwiches until February 21, 2022.
“They had a bad batch of peanut butter,” Flanagan said. “They’re waiting for good peanut butter.”
One interesting statistic to consider? A total of 199 troops signed up to sell cookies in South Carolina’s eastern district this year – down from 234 troops in 2020. That is consistent with a broader, national decline in the membership of this organization – which currently clocks in at just over one million.
That is a staggering 64.3 percent decline from twenty years ago, when more than 2.8 million girls participated in the program.
Last year, the Girl Scouts were left with more than 15 million boxes of surplus cookies – which the organization attributed to a lack of in-person selling points due to Covid-19 concerns.
That wasn’t the only issue, though …
Sales were also impacted by a liberal boycott of the cookies over the origin of the palm oil used in their production. The boycott began after The Associated Press published a report in December 2020 linking the palm oil used in Girl Scout cookies – and a host of other foods – to an Indonesian child labor racket.
Following the lead of 11-year-old Olivia Chaffin of Jonesborough, Tennessee, hundreds of Girl Scouts refused to sell the cookies as a result of this alleged exploitation.
Cookie providers have vowed all of the palm oil contained in this year’s batch is approved by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a group which was formed “to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.”
“This contributes to the production of certified sustainable palm oil,” one of the bakers asserted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats – including that Asheville Tourists’ lid pictured above.
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