Do regular cookie sales decline during Girl Scout Cookie season?

I thought I’d take a break after inhaling a cellophane-sleeveful of Trefoils to ask if commercial cookie manufacturers notice Girl Scout Cookie season. Does Lorna Doone curse the day Trefoil sales start? Do mint chocolate cookie makers dread Thin Mints? Do Do-Se-Dos impact Oreos?

Or do GSCs perhaps spur sales of other cookies, as people across America (and around the world) gorge themselves on baked goods?

Annual sales of Girl Scout cookies. Less than 200 million boxes per year.

Annual sales of Oreo cookies alone. 9.1 billion.

Although, Thin Mints are the number two best selling cookie.

My guess is that the cookie industry notices but doesn’t tremble.

Personally, I’d take Samoas over Thin Mints any day.

Actually, “samoas” is politically incorrect; now they are called “chocalate dipped toasted coconut caramel self esteem rings”

This may be a slight hijack, but it is Girl Scout Cookie-related. Why can I buy Tagalongs at home in Western Kentucky, but in Lexington they are Peanut Butter Patties (and come in a different box!)

This isn’t the only change, as Trefoils, Samoas and Do-Si-Dos all are missing their names. Any one know why?

Interesting. I suspect the impact is bigger than those stats make it appear at first glance. Consider that those 200 million boxes, at $3 each, bring in about $600 million in the month or so that the cookies are available.

And that 9.1 billion individual Oreos sell in a year. That’s 750 million cookies per month. Given that there are 51 Oreos in a package, that’s over 14 million packages sold in a month. So during the time period that they’re available, Girl Scout Cookies vastly outsell Oreos.

Of course, that still doesn’t tell us if people buy GSCs instead of cookies they’d otherwise buy, or in addition to them. I know several people who stock up on Thin Mints in spring and freeze them for the year.

There’s also the factor that Girl Scout Cookie buys are usually somewhat impulsive. Even if you already have a cupboard full of Oreos, are you going to turn down the girls going door to door with their cookies, or the ones at the card table set up in the mall? I know I’m sure not going to.

Of course, you might also happen to be running low on cookies when you buy from the Girls Scouts, in which case you probably wouldn’t buy commercial brands until the Thin Mints ran out, but that would only happen about half the time.

My local supermarket must have 50 feet of shelves stacked seven deep with cookies. The various multitude of Oreo varieties are only a small fraction of this wondrous display.

So even if Girl Scout Cookies rival Oreos, they still have the whole entire rest of the cookie industry as competitors.

Look at them as the Apple of cookies: they get a lot of attention but the world munches PCs.