Girl Scouts and fans embrace tech to make cookie season sweeter

Girl Scouts began cookie sales around the US this past week. Scouts are using apps to track their sales, while customers can pick up smart phones to locate cookie sellers in their area, or whet their appetites for Thin Mints by following the Girl Scouts on multiple social networks.

www.pinterest.com/gsusa/
A pin from the 'All Things Girl Scouts' board on the Pinterest page of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

This time of year brings views of sashed and vested girls knocking on doors, parents coaching their junior saleswomen, and enough money changing hands to build one of the most lucrative baked goods businesses in America.

In case there aren't Girl Scouts already canvassing your neighborhood, or a co-worker hasn't passed you an order form over the wall of your cubicle, don't fret. The business savvy Girl Scouts have an application for easy cookie location, available for iPhone and Android smart phones. The app was developed by Little Brownie Bakers, one of the two licensed bakers of Girl Scout cookies in the US.

And more Girl Scouts are using technology to track their sales goals and achievements. Girl Scout troops in the US using ABC Bakers, the other licensed baker of Girl Scout cookies, can now use the COCOMobile app on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The app allows the scouts to enter and manage cookie orders, set and track cookie sales goals, and even e-mail order confirmations to customers, among other tasks. 

Need to whet your appetite before placing your order? Girl Scouts of the USA and individual chapters nationwide maintain Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, and Facebook pages to keep troops and cookie fans up-to-speed on cookie availability and other scouting activities.

It's not surprising that the century-old organization is embracing technology, since selling cookies is big business. According to a 2013 USA Today story, "The Girl Scouts generated cookie sales of roughly $785 million in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Mintel consumer research firm, which estimates a similar showing this year."

According to those numbers, if the Girl Scouts were a for-profit corporation, they would be ranked No. 3 cookie company in the US, reports USA Today.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.