I consider my annual purchase of 12 boxes of Thin Mints, eight boxes of Samoas, three boxes of Tagalongs, and two boxes of Lemonades to be my charitable donation for the year. Not everyone sees eye-to-eye with me on this one—the government is pretty adamant that Girl Scout Cookies aren’t a tax write-off—but that doesn’t stop me from trying every year (see slight tax loophole in their FAQ).
That might be something to work on for 2016’s product drop. They could call the new cookies “Write-Offables” or ”Untaxalongs” and throw a little chocolate dollar sign on top. But this year, the Girl Scouts of America, whose cookies will be available for purchase from February 1-March 8, were already pretty swamped in the kitchen working on their newest creation: gluten-free Toffee-tastic.
The Girl Scouts dipped their toes into the anti-gluten market last year with their aptly named Trios—a gluten-less peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal cookie—and it was insanely successful: “90% of consumers said they plan to buy gluten-free again next season!”
Regardless of how you feel about dietary chic, the point remains—the Girl Scouts reacted to a market demand and capitalized on it, and that’s a pretty smart move for a group of preteens.
So, what’s their next move? Where do they go from here? I think if they really want to take advantage of the newfangled foodie sensibility, there’s only one logical step—they’re going to go artisanal on us.
Think about it, what if Girl Scouts come out with a new “GS Premium” line? If Whole Foods patrons will shell out $5.99 for kombucha, they’ll sure as hell pay $7 for a box of high-end cookies. If I were in charge of R&D, and regrettably I’m not, these would be my first three promo goodies.
Tea Timers (matcha green-tea macarons): Look at any Pinterest board these days, literally any one at all, and you’re getting flooded with stock photos of multicolored macarons. And for good reason: They’re elegant, foreign, and 100 percent customizable. Matcha is so hot right now, so it’s time to go green.
Hot Tamales (ancho chile and dark chocolate butter cookies): You’d probably have to brief the scouts on flavor notes beforehand and get them to use words like “earthy” and “umami” a bunch, but I think these could work. Also, Bobby Flay might be game for an endorsement deal here.
Ol’ Smokies (smoked sea-salt caramel stroopwafles): Salted caramel is the most indomitable foodie trend to hit the dessert-o-sphere since red velvet. Sandwich some salted caramel between two paper-thin, crispy waffle cookies, and the Girl Scouts will be able to fund their camping trips for an eternity.