Girl Scout Cookie Sales Crumble as Baker Can’t Meet Demand 

Girl Scout cookies

A Girl Scout cookie shortage? That’s not an issue taken lightly, especially among Girl Scout cookie loyalists, who can sometimes be almost cult-like.

But it’s not just cookie enthusiasts who aren’t dealing well with the crisis. The Girls Scouts of the USA is reportedly disappointed with its leading baker, Little Brownie Bakers (LBB), a baking partner owned by Italian confection giant Ferrero, which is the root cause of the cookie shortage.

LBB recently notified the youth organization that production at its Louisville, Kentucky, factory had been halted due to weather-induced power outages over the weekend of March 5, delaying inventory.

But the early March power outages are just the latest in a series of production delays and issues LBB has had since the beginning of the Girl Scout cookie selling season in January.

“We are extremely disappointed that LBB is again having challenges with managing their production,” a Girl Scouts spokesperson told CNBC. “We will address these issues with our baker partner in the future.”

According to reports, Girl Scout executives expressed their disappointment with LBB’s inventory management and their expectations for their baking partners to be “more ahead of demand.”

The shortage has caused resale prices for various cookie flavors, particularly the Raspberry Rally cookie, to go up to as much as $35 per box on eBay. And boxes by the dozen were listed for as much as $600 on eBay.

The raging popularity of the newly launched Raspberry Rally cookie was something the Girl Scouts did not anticipate, selling out online entirely in less than a day when it launched online on Jan. 27.

“We saw unprecedented demand for Raspberry Rally, which sold at an astronomical pace,” the Girl Scouts spokesperson said, declining to provide specifics on the number of boxes sold.

Thin Mints, Adventurefuls and S’mores are reportedly the only Girl Scout cookie flavors currently available online in some states.

In terms of its struggles with LBB, this isn’t the first time the Girls Scouts have encountered problems with the baker, and the organization is now saying it is open to other opportunities.

As a result of the shortage, roughly 75% of local Girl Scout troops, which rely on cookie sales as their primary funding driver, have been unable to meet their sales goals. The remaining 25% of Girl Scout councils are supplied by ABC Bakers, a smaller baking company that has not experienced the same production issues as Little Brownie Bakers.

Despite these challenges, LBB has shipped over 84 million packages to local troops and produced more Girl Scout cookies than it did during the same time last year.

Will Girl Scout cookie loyalists flock to eBay to score their beloved cookies, or will they wait it out for LBB to get its act together?

According to PYMNTS’ latest “Consumer Inflation Sentiment” report, “Perception Is Reality,” 67% of consumers who live paycheck to paycheck have cut back on nonessential groceries. Furthermore, 46% of shoppers are deal chasers, nearly two-thirds of whom prioritize prices and discounts when it comes to making grocery purchases, meaning most would switch merchants for lower prices, according to the “The False Appeal of Deal-Chasing Consumers” study. That said, it remains to be seen whether Girl Scout cookie fans will look for a better deal, or remain loyal to the organization.

LBB has also revealed it is experiencing mechanical issues affecting production of the famous Samoas cookie.

Thin Mint, anyone?