August 10, 2017
Subject Title: GSNI Cookies Updates: Introducing Standardized Pricing
Following on the heels of the announcement today by GSUSA that
S’mores will be here again in 2018, we’d like to share some updates to
the Girl Scout Cookie Program from our Council perspective.
Over the past few months, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois has been
exploring the implementation of standardized pricing for the sale
of a box of cookies. After discussion between volunteers and
staff, and an analysis of data from other Councils who have moved to
standardize prices, we have made a decision. Girl Scouts of
Northern Illinois will be offering all varieties of the Girl Scout
cookie lineup at $5 per box for the upcoming season in 2018.
We considered multiple factors before making this decision. In our
Council, the price to the consumer has not been raised for 8 years,
despite rising ingredient and production costs passed on to us from
the baker over this time. Next year, more than a third of Councils
nationwide will be selling cookies at a minimum price of $5.
Many will be selling at two price points: $5 for the traditional
varieties and $6 for S’mores and Toffeetastics, as the cost for these
specialty cookies, which require special ingredients and/or separate
production lines, is a dollar more than for the traditional varieties.
We not only believe standardized pricing of $5 for all varieties is
the best option for everyone involved with Girl Scouts of Northern
Illinois but this also aligns us with two of our neighbors, Girl
Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and Girl Scouts of
Standardized pricing makes it easier for girls to communicate costs
to their customers, as Toffee-tastic and S’mores cookies were sold
at a dollar more box last year than our traditional varieties. Girls
will continue to earn rewards, as they learn important financial and
entrepreneurial skills through participation in the cookie program,
the biggest girl-led business in the world. Our reward structure
for 2018 will remain essentially the same and allow the most
successful girls the opportunity to visit Disney or, new for 2018 for
the highest sellers, a program with Sea Turtles.
Troops will also benefit from the standardized pricing. Troop
proceeds will increase 25 cents per box sold, at Tier 1 with
Rewards, compared to 2017. With the new two tiered pricing model
(see chart below), troops can earn more to fund their own experiences!
|New Troop Proceeds: ||Tier 1 ||Tier 2 |
|Troop Proceeds w/ Rewards ||$0.85 ||$0.90 |
Troop Proceeds w/out Rewards
(opt-out CAD, SR, AMB
|$0.95 ||$1.00 |
At the troop level, girls are engaged in the decision-making process
to determine how to spend their troop cookie money and they often
reinvest it in their communities through service projects. Other
troops, for example, have chosen to fund travel opportunities in the
US and beyond, go camping or fund membership and uniform purchases.
When consumers purchase Girl Scout Cookies, they are not just buying
a sweet treat, but, more importantly, investing in the future of
girls to experience the four focus areas Girl Scouts of Northern
Illinois offers: Practical Life Skills, Travel & the Global
Community, Career & Interest Exploration, and Outdoor Activities
& Adventures and providing the foundation for girls to learn
leadership and undertake community service. Net proceeds stay within
the council and help us deliver quality troop and council-led Girl
Scout programs and experiences in the 16 counties we serve. GSNI is
using its resources wisely and through the Long Range Property Plan
have strategies to reinvest in our four camps to enhance girls’
experiences and allow them to choose their adventure.
You may be asking yourself how the “cookie crumbles”. Where do the
revenues from a $5 box of cookies go? We have to make some assumptions
here to be able to generalize, as costs depend on the number of
specialty cookies sold within the entire cookie mix. Specialty cookies
cost a dollar more than traditional cookies. Payments to troops also
fluctuate with the volume sold and whether girl rewards are opted in
or out (only available for older girls).
On average and with our best planning assumptions over the next few
years, we expect about 28% of the $5 to cover the cost of running the
cookie program: buying the cookies, transportation, storage,
marketing, personnel and so on. About 22% of the $5 covers rewards and
cookie dough paid to girls, troop proceeds and SU rewards. The
remaining 50% is retained by the Council and will provide us with
about 70% of our total annual revenue to invest in our programs, our
camps and support Troops and Service Units.
We look forward to all the opportunities that standardized pricing
has to offer all of us in Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. Based on
other Councils’ experiences, this can be a WIN for all of us:
girls, troops, service units and the Council and provide us with the
resources to continue to grow.