11 Surprising Secrets About Girl Scout Cookies

We dish up who-knew, fun facts about Girl Scout Cookies, America's most beloved treat.

Adapted from Matt Stopera at Buzzfeed.com with additional reporting by Perri O. Blumberg
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    John Moore/Getty Images

    From January through March of each year, Girl Scout cookies are the number one cookie brand in the United States.

    The rest of the year, Oreos top the bestselling cookie list.

    Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Girl Scouts of the USA

    About 200 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold each year.

    Burp.

    John Moore/Getty Images

    Americans loves themselves some Thin Mints.

    Thin Mints account for a quarter of all sales. Samoas/Caramel deLites make up 19% of sales, and Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs come in at 13%.

    iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    How many Thin Mints?

    During peak bake times, Girl Scout cookie producers bake over 4.5 million Thin Mints per day. That's right, per day.

    Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Girl Scouts of the USA

    The Girl Scouts recipes are keeping with the times.

    No preservatives, "zero trans fats per serving"—plus, Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties Girl Scout Cookies are vegan.

    Kang Kim

    The most fat and calories?

    That would be the “healthy,” nutrient-enriched new Mango Crèmes.

    Amanda Edwards/Getty Images For Distinctive Assets

    The box might be a little lighter than you remember.

    In 2009, the cost of baking Girl Scout cookies rose, but rather than opt for a price spike, the organization downsized the size of the Lemon Chalet Cremes and stuffed fewer cookies in boxes of Thin Mints and Tagalongs.

    Ron Stone/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    The first cookies were home-baked.

    Before the business exploded, in the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scouts around America baked their own sugar cookies and sold them to raise money for their activities.

    George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    During World War II, cookie sales were put on hold.

    Due to sugar, flour, and butter shortages caused by the war, in 1942, Girl Scouts sold calendars in lieu of cookies.

    Keystone/Getty Images

    In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council sold cookies in the city's gas and electric company windows.

    Then, a box of 44 cookies rang in at 23 cents, or you could splurge for six boxes at $1.24.

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Cookie sales aside, Girl Scouts are leaders.

    Fifty-nine percent of women in the U.S. Senate and 60 percent of women in the House of Representatives are Girl Scouts alumnae.

    Sources: ABC Smart Cookies, officially licensed Girl Scout Cookie baker for more than 75 years, GirlScouts.org, MentalFloss.com

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    Your Comments

    • khelligreene

      1. They are too expensive for the pathetic amount of them in the box.
      2. Dollar General sells a line of cookies for WAY less that are almost identical to the originals and some are even BETTER.
      3. The Girl Scouts get very little of the money made from these, but the company that bakes them sure does well. Kinda like when students sell candy bars that are provided by the fund raising dept. at ..we.., won’t name candy companies ( M&Ms….) for 50 cents each and the students only got 19 cents of it . Yeah, that wasn’t a scam at alllllll….. MY class got smart and bought from Sam’s Club and made 37cents profit AND had different than usual candies to offer!

    • EEK

      I worked with a girl scout troop some years ago and was shocked at how little the young girls are benefited by the cookie sales. Most of the money goes to the main office, whoever that is. My daughters didn’t do Girl Scouts as a result. It’s not the Girls Scouts I was in.

    • Laura Michaela Drone Banse

      This is not 100% true. Only the cookies produced by ABC Bakers are Vegan. Those produced by Little Brownie Bakers are not vegan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601761356 Aria Wiley

      They were $2.50 per box when I sold them. My troop leader always made sure her daughters were the top-sellers in our council/district by buying 2k boxes (yes, she was rich) so that her daughters could win the top prizes which cost a hell of a lot less than that many cookies. I hope she’s no longer a leader. Girl Scouts would have been a lot more fun if it weren’t for her. I actually quit in the middle of the last year I was scouting because I just couldn’t tolerate her anymore.

    • CPG

      One other fact, girl scout troops only make 50 cents per box sold!