Originally posted on Pigeon 605
The newest cookie in the Girl Scouts of United States lineup is Raspberry Rally.
It’s thin, crispy, and dipped in the same chocolatey coating as a Thin Mint.
And Marla Meyer, CEO for Girl Scouts – Dakota Horizons, helped develop it.
“It’s a fun, decadent cookie,” Meyer said.
Cookies go on sale Friday (Feb. 10), but you can get the Raspberry Rally only online.
“This is the first time that a cookie has been online-shipped only,” Meyer said. “The girls are really venturing into omnichannel skills through this cookie program.”
She said the Girl Scouts create their own cookie sites and learn not only how to pitch their product but also how to manage their list of clients. For example, they can see who repeat customers are and email them to remind them it’s cookie time.
“My daughter in seventh grade has been doing videos since kindergarten,” Meyer said. “She writes the script, and she does the video, and she’s talking to her customers. The digital site isn’t just a site to purchase but a site for girls to expand their experience.”
Meyer is co-chair of the Product Steering Committee for the national Girl Scouts program. But she also serves on a subcommittee for innovation with a half-dozen other leaders.
“We literally work on the Girl Scout Cookie innovation,” Meyer said. Last year, she helped create the Adventureful – a brownie cookie with caramel creme and sea salt.
It’s all very secret – and very delicious.
It starts with flavor profiles and concepts, “super secret” packages to try flavors, and then tests with the bakers. It’s like wine tasting – but with dessert. The cookie program is nearly a billion-dollar program – so getting the flavor right is important.
It’s also very, very secret.
Meyer has tasted the initial round for the next new cookie, but she’s so careful she doesn’t even throw the wrapping in the trash where anyone could see it. “It’s such big news for our girls,” she said. “It’s pretty fun bringing these cookies to life that make several billion impressions out there.”
And, she acknowledges, a little stressful.
“When people know you work for Girl Scouts, they like to throw out cookie ideas. We are not lacking in suggestions,” Meyer said. She said her background in consumer-packaged goods – she worked for Coke and Pepsi Co. – has helped her understand innovation from start to finish.
“You get the concept down, and then you move into what does it look like? What does it taste like? Is it a sandwich cookie or a different style,” Meyer said.
After the bakers provide them with samples, the committee does its work and then the ultimate decider is the consumer – with focus groups and tastings. “You still never know until you get out there and test the cookie.”
Each Girl Scout offers about eight varieties of cookie in a season, Meyer said. And they consider themselves experts on their product, including offering pro tips for how to best enjoy them: Microwave your S’mores cookie for seven seconds.
The Sioux Falls lineup is Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Lemon-Ups, Trefoils, S’mores, Adventurefuls, Toffee-tastics and Raspberry Rally.
They shouldn’t be difficult to find – there are about 8,000 girls in the Dakotas Horizons group, with about 5,000 of them selling cookies. They sell more than a million boxes of cookies just in their footprint, which includes South Dakota, North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and Iowa.
“Each purchase really invests in Girl Scout leadership,” Meyer said. “They are helping them think like entrepreneurs and build their skills.”
The in-person sales launch Feb. 17, and you can even find local cookie pop-up booths on the website, Meyer said. After Feb. 27, you can go online to link to your local troupe and order the new cookie. She said any online sales for the new cookie stay local.
“They’re only available a few weeks a year, and yet they make such an impact on people,” Meyer said. “People are smiling when they have a Girl Scout Cookie.”
Her favorite? Samoas. “I try not to eat too many of them.”