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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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Girl scout with cookiesSheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

They’re best-sellers

From January through March, Girl Scout cookies are the number one selling cookie brand in the United States The rest of the year, Oreos top the list. Take a look at these amazing potluck desserts you can make with Oreos.

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Girl Scout cookies in a basketSheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

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 mintsHolly Vegter/Shutterstock

Americans love Thin Mints

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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Thin mintsHolly Vegter/Shutterstock

Millions of Thin Mints are baked each 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 copycat recipes.

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Shortbread cookiesConstantine Pankin/Shutterstock

The recipes are keeping with the times

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.

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Thin mint cookiesJLMcAnally/Shutterstock

The box might be a little lighter than you remember.

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. Did you know that you can buy Girl Scout Cookie cereal?

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Girl scout with cookiesSheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

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. Make sure you know these baking mistakes you never realized you were making.

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Girl Scout cookiesRob-Hainer/ShutterStock

Cookie sales were once put on hold

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. Speaking of the 1940s, you have to check out these vintage recipes from WWII.

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Girl Scout cookiesSheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

They can be sold just about 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. Here are 41 more ways to get your cookie fix.

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Girl Scouts exteriorKen Wolter/Shutterstock

Girl Scouts are leaders

An estimated 74 percent of women in the U.S. Senate and 58 percent 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,

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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