Monday, February 4, 2013

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies

Thin Mints are now Vegan!

No, this is not a dream.

Go ahead, pick up a sleeve of those melt in your mouth, chocolate mint delights and eat them until they are gone...

Yes, I know you are smiling recalling the pre-vegan days of doing just this.

If you live in Iowa and are buying Girl Scout cookies from an Iowa Girl Scout, not only do you have vegan choices, but you are also purchasing an Iowa made product. As a bonus, you are helping a girl reach goals while gaining courage, confidence and character. What could be better?

Of course, having spent most of my professional career working for Girl Scouts here in Iowa, I have known which cookies are vegan friendly for years. However, ABC Bakers located in Sioux City, Iowa has finally decided to market this little known fact right on the cookie order form. Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks A-Lots, Thin Mints and Lemonades are all vegan!

ABC has gone one step further and changed the chocolate used in Thin Mints, making these best selling cookies even more accessible to people with food allergies! Last year there were only 3 vegan cookies, this year there are four. After all, that is what girls asked for. And, in an organization dedicated to girls, a girls voice goes a long way.

Following the Girl Scout cookie sale last year, a troop of girls wrote into the office and asked the cookie company to make Girl Scout cookies more accessible for people with food allergies. A co-worker and I cheered on the the girls who sent the letter and forwarded on the girls' request directly to ABC.
There is also a little bit of differentiation and competitive marketing happening here as well. You see, there are two bakeries nationwide producing those delectable chocolate covered pieces of heaven. (Did you know that Thin Mints are the #2 best selling cookie in the nation right behind Oreos? AND they are only sold for a month or two each year in each region of the country!!!) They are also competing for the business of the 110 Girl Scout councils, and looking for ways to make a stronger business proposal. Little Brownie Bakers, a subsidiary of Keebler, has ZERO vegan cookies on their cookie list.  Zero.

How do you know if you are buying the vegan version of cookies? Well if a Girl Scout comes to your doorstep with Tagalongs or Samoas, then your Girl Scout council does not have the vegan friendly Girl Scout cookie company.

ABC Bakers has slightly different names for the five primary Girl Scout cookies that are sold by both bakers. They also have slightly different recipes for those same cookies. Obviously, ABC Bakery has the right idea. The Iowa Girl Scout councils also have the right idea by buying directly from an Iowa based business. It is the best of both worlds.

So when those girls come knocking at your door order away! But first, remember that the Girl Scout cookie program is first and foremost a program. Girls are gaining skills like goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Ask that Girl Scout what her cookie goal is and how far along she is towards that goal.

Need to find a Girl Scout cookie booth near you?  Here are links to Iowa's two Girl Scout council websites: - Girl Scouts Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois - Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa (central and western Iowa)

Did you know that 80% of women business owners were Girl Scouts? This isn’t just a national statistic. Girl Scout staff spoke at a Des Moines Chamber event last year and mentioned this statistic. A curious chamber staff person called every woman business owner on the Chamber list, and sure enough, 90% of the local women business owners were Girl Scouts! The number one leadership development organization in the nation has a strong 100 year history of breaking down barriers and helping girls grow to successful women.

Oh, and while you are supporting Girls and the future they have in their hands, don’t forget to check out this fabulous website dedicated to creating a better future for our daughters:

Want to learn more about ABC Bakers? Here is their website:

1 comment:

  1. My only issue is that the ingredients are not organic, which means they are still GMO'd!