After 90 years of selling cookies, the Girl Scouts are keeping up with the times.
From now through March you can use your credit or debit card to purchase gluten-free cookies online from local Girl Scouts along with the old-time favorite Thin Mints, Samoas and Do-Si-Dos.
The new gluten-free Toffee-tastic cookie is a buttery cookie with bits of toffee, while the Digital Cookie program allows local Scouts to market cookies online on personalized websites.
The innovations are signs of how the Scouts follow the trends like any big business. And the cookie business is that, earning more than $790 million a year.
“Digital Cookie tailors the traditional Girl Scout cookie program to fit the modern world, helping give more girls an important function in technology,” said Alisha Moore, vice president of sales at Girl Scouts Louisiana East council.
Not all Girl Scout councils are offering digital sales. Louisiana East, which serves the Baton Rouge and New Orleans metropolitan areas, will allow Scouts to create a site and invite customers to buy cookies via an email link, similar to the way a Scout’s parent takes the order form to the office. Cookie buyers have the option to have their sweets delivered in person by the Girl Scout or mailed to them.
Parents and Scout leaders monitor the process, according to a news release from Girl Scouts Louisiana East. Parents will approve all in-person deliveries from the Digital Cookie program.
Gluten-free cookies were created to meet demand from customers all over the country, Moore said in a news release. A 2014 survey found 11 percent of American households follow a gluten-free diet, according to the NPD tracking and marketing group.
“We’re interested to see whether southeast Louisiana customers embrace the cookie as well,” she said.
While cookies with gluten — including the new Ra-Rah Raisins — cost $4 a box, the gluten-free Toffee-tastic run $5.
Girl Scouts will take their initial cookie orders through Feb. 1, and the cookies will be sold at booths from Feb. 27 to March 15.