The Girl Scouts of the USA has a new cookie flavor for the 2021 selling season: French toast. The Toast-Yay! is shaped like a tiny piece of frosted, sweet toast.
It’ll be available in select areas when the crunchy treats go on sale, which in many regions starts in January.
But gone are the days of coworkers hitting you up to buy from their daughters and nieces, of girls setting up card tables outside neighborhood supermarkets, and of pint-sized door-to-door saleswomen ringing your doorbell.
After a 2020 selling season GSUSA calls “challenging,” the aspiring entrepreneurs will sell solely online and through “virtual cookie booths” on social media.
“Many girls will offer socially distant or contactless sales and delivery options. If local guidelines allow and it’s safe to do so, in-person sales may also be available in certain areas,” the organization says.
This announcement about the latest addition to a beloved lineup that includes Thin Mints, Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Trefoils/Shortbread, Samoas/Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties comes at exactly the right time.
The research firm NPD found that sweet and savory snack food consumption has jumped 8% during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the 1% it increased during the Great Recession.
“We have certain things we really love and make us feel good,” says Jim Painter, a psychology-of-food expert and professor emeritus at Eastern Illinois University. “With so many things going wrong, people want to go back to something that’s familiar, that’s comforting. Girl Scout cookies fit that amazingly. Everyone has this nostalgic idea about Girl Scout cookies. It fulfills that comfort, the good old times, the way things used to be.”
Girl Scouts work to earn their Cookie Entrepreneur Family pin. The money these saleswomen earn stays with the local leadership; it isn’t sent to the national headquarters. According to GSUSA, the cookie program is the biggest girl-led entrepreneurship program on Earth.
Girl Scout cookie fundraising began in 1917, when a troop in Oklahoma baked and sold their own cookies, the organization’s website explains. The move to commercial bakers for cookies to be sold nationally came in 1936. The 2010s saw the first gluten-free Girl Scout cookie and the debut of the Digital Cookie sales platform.