Saturday, March 26, 2011

And That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles

Adorable Girl Scout with the Six
Cookies Sold This Year 

For my Reporting 101 class, we have to write an article about business reporting this week.  We presented our ideas in class on Wednesday, stocks, bonds and other business jargon seemed to be spewing from everyone else's mouth.  I however was a little uninspired by the front page of the New York Times and decided to take on a different approach for my news coverage...Girl Scout Cookies.  
We learned that all stories have some sort of business angle.  And after much research, 2 interviews, and a trip to the International Girl Scout Headquarters (conveniently located 4 blocks from my dorm), I can attest to that. So, here's my weekly story. Hope you enjoy it:
The stale economy is teaching Girl Scouts a new lesson: the way the cookies crumble.
         To offset the increased cost of cookie ingredients, Girl Scout councils made the decision to increase cost to $4 and package fewer cookies in boxes of Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, and Tagalongs.  
According to Girl Scout representatives, “today’s prices reflect the current cost of purchasing cookies from a licensed baker, and the realities of providing Girl Scout activities in an ever-changing economic environment.”  
In addition to shrinking each box by a centimeter, this year’s cookie jamboree limited its variety to only six selections.  
Lovers of Thin Mints, Lemonades, and Tagalongs need not fret, with Trefoils, Shout Outs, and Samoas holding a spot in this years cookie sales too.  
"Our top five varieties make up 77% of cookie sales,"  said Amanda Hamaker in a recent Wall Street Journal article.  As the manager of national product sales for the Girl Scouts, Hamaker said, "The others are yummy and fun, but they're side dressing—leaving councils with an awful lot of alternate varieties left over."
Although each cookie now costs 38¢, New York City Girl Scout Specialist Heather Reine said, “the increase has not affected sales in a negative way.  Actually I think more people buy a 5th box for the even $20.”  
Cookie monsters can stock up on all their favorite flavors from now through May 5 by visiting pop-up shops throughout the 5 boroughs. 
Taking cookie sales into the 21st century, Girl Scouts released the Official Girl Scouts of the USA Cookie Finder app for the iPhone or iPod Touch.  “The iPhone’s GPS reads your location and shows you cookie sales nearby,” said a Girl Scout Press Release.  
However, for NYU students only, Reine said, “the Girl Scouts of Greater New York will table in Kimmel on April 19th for their corporate cookie sale.  Don’t miss out on the springtime cookie-selling ritual.”    

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