Girl Scouts please multitudes with Cookie Finder app

The new Cookie Finder app tells you exactly where and when Girl Scout cookies will be available

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
February 18, 2013
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I desperately hope to have a daughter some day so that I can enroll her in the Girl Scouts and have unfettered access to all the Girl Scout cookies. I know you don’t get free cookies just for being the parent of a Girl Scout—it’s the information I’m after. I’m sick of harassing my local grocery store to find out when the Girl Scouts are going to be there. I need to know when the cookies are coming and where I can get them!

So for everyone who has ever wished they could just hop on their phone and find the nearest Girl Scout, the Girl Scouts of America say: You’re welcome. The organization has released a Cookie Finder app, which comes complete with distance, maps, and times.

It’s the closest the Girl Scouts can come to creating an e-commerce channel for selling the cookies. It would make life so much easier for all the cookie consumers of the world, but obviously, it would defeat the purpose of having Girl Scouts sell them.

The app is available for iOS and Android and, naturally, it’s free.

Without an e-commerce angle, the Girl Scouts still manage to rake in $790 million a year in revenue, even though the beloved cookies are only available for a couple of weeks out of the year. Girl Scouts spokesperson Michelle Thompson says the organization sells 200 million boxes a year.

The Girl Scouts work in shifts of two hours, so the app will show you where to find a Girl Scout booth near your current location or zip code in two-hour blocks. For example, you can buy cookies in front of your nearby Walmart from 9-11 am on Saturday morning, and then from 11 am to 1 pm, and then from 1-3 pm, and so on.

What’s most interesting about the app—I think—is how it engages the consumer in the spirit of education and experiential learning. The app comes with a “how to buy cookies” guide—the first of its kind—and gives the user a list of suggestions on how to interact with Girl Scouts. There are simple points, like make eye contact and say hello, or tell them if you were a Girl Scout—and then there are more specific, to-the-point recommendations, like “please don’t call us cute.”

“We know we’re cute, but selling cookies is real,” the guide says. “We’re learning how to run a business. We want you to buy cookies because you want them and respect what we’re learning, not because of our nice haircut or uniform. We’re running the largest girl-led business in the world. That’s not cute. That’s incredible.”

Damn straight it is. 


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