Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) – Girl Scout cookies are serious business.
Girls in varying uniforms have been pedaling these iconic treats since the early 1900s, and we’ve been happily snatching them up. Everyone has a favorite, but would it surprise you to know that your favorite cookie may look—and taste—differently if you bought your box in a different state?
The Girl Scouts get their cookies supply from two authorized manufacturers, ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. The latter is in Louisville on National Turnpike. Little Brownie Bakers produces the cookies you are most likely to be familiar with, as they service most of the Kentuckiana area.
Little Brownie Bakers supplies most of the country with Girl Scout cookies, but ABC Bakers does cover most of Texas, Virginia, Maine, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, as well as large regions of other states.
If you assumed ABC Bakers is stationed somewhere in the Midwest based on where they supply, you’d be wrong. ABC Bakers is in Richmond, Va., less than a 10-hour drive from Louisville.
The two bakeries became the consistent producers of Girl Scout cookies in the 1990s. While the Girl Scouts organization doesn’t explain why the cookies differ between bakeries separated by less than 600 miles, they do warn on their website that recipes and ingredients of cookies will vary.
In some instances, the bakeries carry completely different cookies. In addition to the mandatory flavors, ABC Bakers is offering two cookies you won't find at Little Brownie Bakers: Thanks-A-Lot® and Trio cookies. Thanks-A-Lot® cookies are Thank-You-stamped, fudge-dipped shortbread, and Trios are gluten free peanut butter oatmeal cookies. Likewise, Toffee-tastic® can only be found with Little Brownie Bakers.
An article published by the Los Angeles Times first alerted consumers to the differences in the cookies. For most of the comparisons, which included classics like Thin Mints®, the difference in calories seemed miniscule.
In general, Little Brownie Bakers’ cookies tend to be the choice with more calories in the recipe (Tagalongs®, Samoas® and Trefoils® fall into that category), but when ABC Bakers’ cookies have more calories, it’s by a significant amount (Girl Scout S’mores® have 15 more calories at ABC Bakers, and Savannah Smiles® have a whopping 47 more calories).
The most noticeable difference, though, is in the look of the cookies. ABC Bakers’ Girl Scout S’mores® cookies are marshmallow- and chocolate-covered graham crackers—a shocking contrast to Little Brownie Bakers’ stamped sandwich-style cookie.
Thin Mints® from ABC Bakers have a gear-like shape.
And Savannah Smiles® and Lemonades® are two completely different cookies.
What might shock consumers the most, though, is that some of the most iconic names for the cookies are not the same. Samoas® from Little Brownie Bakers are called Caramel deLites® at ABC Bakers. Tagalongs® are known as Peanut Butter Patties® elsewhere. Do-si-dos® are reduced to Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Trefoils®, which bare the Girl Scouts’ logo, are called Shortbread at ABC Bakers.