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Girl Scout Cookie production hit by labor and ingredient shortages at major bakery

If you love S’mores, you may have a problem finding them right now.

Girl Scout Cookie production hit by labor and ingredient shortages at major bakery
[Source Images: Girl Scouts]

The supply-chain crisis just got real. 

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Certain types of Girl Scout Cookies have been the focus of “nation-wide inventory concerns” this week, and now a major supplier may not be able to guarantee delivery of S’mores—the delicious graham-cracker cookie with the chocolate and marshmallow filling.

That’s according to an update posted Wednesday by Girl Scouts Heart of Hudson, a local affiliate that serves seven counties in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. The impact on S’mores is apparently so significant that the group plans to remove them from its digital sales platform and expects Girl Scout Councils across the country to be affected.

“We are in the process of finding out more information, including the impact on cookie booths,” the group wrote. “We understand the frustration and inconvenience this may cause, and promise to keep you informed with updates as they become available.”

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The bottleneck appears to be stemming from Little Brownie Baker, a Louisville, Kentucky, facility that has been baking Girl Scout Cookies for decades. It’s one of two major suppliers of the sweet tweets. The extent of the problem and whether other cookie varieties may also take a hit was unclear.

Kelly Parisi, a spokesperson for Girl Scouts of the USA, told Fast Company that the situation on the ground was difficult to assess. “We anticipate some councils will be largely unaffected, while other councils and girls may not reach their cookie goals,” Parisi said in a statement. “Girl Scouts of the USA is working with our baker to mitigate the impact to councils, troops, girls and customers.”

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Little Brownie Baker confirmed the production snafus but did not elaborate on which types of cookies were affected.   “Recent labor and ingredient shortages have affected production of some Girl Scout cookies,” the company said. “We are working diligently to fulfill orders and get cookies into the hands of hard-working Girl Scouts.”

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Ferrero Group, which owns Little Brownie Baker, did not return requests for comment.

Fortunately for cookie lovers, S’mores are not usually anyone’s first choice. A YouGov poll from 2020 found that only 3% of Americans would consider S’mores their favorite Girl Scout Cookie, compared to 16% who most like Samoas and 24% who prefer Thin Mints. 

Still, any snag in the supply chain could have an impact on a vital source of revenue for Girl Scouts. Members typically sell some 200 million boxes a year, generating $800 million in sales. Much of that money goes directly back to the girls themselves in the form of programs, financial assistance, rewards, and troop support. 

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This post has been updated. 

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About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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