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Girl Scout Cookies Get a New Look

Lisa Scherzer
Personal Finance Editor
The Exchange

Girl Scout Cookies are getting a makeover. Don't fret, Thin Mint fans — the ingredients and recipes will remain the same. But for the first time since 1999, the Girl Scout Cookie Program, a $790 million a year business, has revealed packaging with a brand-new look.

Girl Scouts of the USA announced Friday that the iconic cookie package needed "to be more contemporary to reflect the new brand identity and to embody the spirit of Girl Scouting, while showing customers how they can reconnect with the organization," the news release said.

The new cookie boxes are meant to showcase the five financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills the program tries to teach its Scouts: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

"We have more than 50 million cookie customers across the country, and the cookie box is the most tangible and powerful way for us to communicate directly with consumers," Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said in the announcement.

The Girl Scouts hired brand development company Anthem Worldwide to redesign the package. The boxes feature photos taken by Pulitzer Prize winner David Hume Kennerly, who photographed representatives from the Girl Scouts of Nassau County (New York) and Girl Scouts of Greater New York. (Kennerly won the 1972 Pulitzer for Feature Photography for his portfolio of photographs taken of the Vietnam War, Cambodia, East Pakistani refugees near Calcutta, and the Ali-Frazier fight in Madison Square Garden.)

The new package design depicts the traditional making-the-world-a-better-place Scout activities, such as greening a park and volunteering at a soup kitchen. It also includes travel and adventure shots such as trips to Paris and kayaking excursions.

Some fun cookie facts:

- Currently, two commercial bakers are licensed by the national Girl Scout organization, Girl Scouts of the USA, to produce Girl Scout Cookies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.

- The biggest sellers are: Thin Mints (25%), Samoas and Caramel deLites (19%), Peanut Butter Patties and Tagalongs (13%);  Peanut Butter Sandwich and Do-si-dos (11%), and Shortbread and Trefoils (9%). The other varieties combined account for the remaining 23%.

- Unfortunately you can't buy the cookies online. But according to its web site, the Girl Scouts are "researching a future state where it will be possible for girls to engage consumers in online sales."