Why do Girl Scout cookies have different names?

We are in FULL Girl Scout cookie mode around here. We take our girls door to door and sell as many cookies as we can. Our oldest daughter has a very ambitious goal of 1000 boxes of cookies. Thankfully, our youngest has already met her goal of 24 boxes. Last week I told you 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Sell Girl Scout Cookies, I’m adding one more to the list. We’ve run into a lot of people wanting cookies that we do not have. Less than a hundred miles away, the “other” cookies are being sold and people want to know why there are different names for Girl Scout cookies. You say Trefoils, I say Shortbread, did you know those are pretty much the same cookie?

Girl Scout Cookies

The short answer, there are two different bakers. Girl Scouts uses both Little Brownie Baker and ABC Baker. To add to the mix, the pricing is also different, but I’ll save that for another day.

Here’s the official word from Girl Scouts U.S. A.

“Each Girl Scout council chooses a licensed baker, either ABC Bakers or Little Brownie Bakers. A cookie may be called Trefoils when baked by one baker and Shortbread when baked by the other. The two cookies look and taste similar, but the name of the cookie and the recipe may be different. The exceptions are Thin Mints® and Girl Scout S’mores, which are names used by both bakers.”

Girl Scout Cookie Trefoils

It can be incredibly confusing for someone who is not familiar with Girl Scouts and how it works. Even some new parents in our Girl Scout community didn’t understand why we had different cookies when they had clients asking them for Lemonades when we have Savannah Smiles, two types of lemon cookies that are totally different in every way possible. It’s easier when it’s a Caramel DeLites vs. a Somoa which is similar in taste and shape.

So if you have a child selling cookies, and you run into the question “why can’t I get my favorite Girl Scout cookie?” you’ll know what to say. Let them know what baker your area supports and that they can find their favorite cookie online. Maybe you even know someone out of the area that has the different cookie and make arrangements beforehand. What we have been doing is encouraging them to try something different or ultimately, make a donation to our Operation Thin Mint program that sends cookies to soldiers overseas.

Do you have a child selling Girl Scout cookies? I’d love to know what kind of cookies you sell and where you’re located!