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  • Popcorn vs cookies

    Anybody buying any Girl Scout cookies?

    You see the order form?
    Makes you wonder why BSA
    If your not familiar with the GS cookies..or rather, trhe order form..It's so amazingly simple that you almost want to slap yourself.

    They have a list of the different types of cookies. No matter which box or flavor you buy, it's $3.50.
    Two boxes are $7.00
    4 boxes are $14.00

    You buy in a box at a time quantity, You can buy 100 boxes for $35.00

    Simple form, simplre math, beautifully attractive pricing..and let be honest and face the truth......those cookies taste 100 times better than than the best popcorn flavor.

    But back to the point: A box is $3.50. You oder as many boxes as you want for $3,50 each.

    Simple as that.

    Taste or flavore issues aside.....hy can't popcorn be that easy?

  • #2
    One challenge is that you do get more product for your money with the popcorn IMHO. I do think the prices are a little high.

    But one thing I do like is the popcorn to the troops. I sold 3 of those outright, and when people made donations when we went door to door, when I asked if I could put it towards sending it to the troops, folks eyes lit up and said "YES ABSOLUTELY."

    An aside on Girl Scout Cookies and the BSA. BSA wanted to make their own brand of energy bars that could either be sold via the scout shops, or used as a fundraiser, don't remember which. GSUSA found out, and threatened the BSA with a lawsuit saying the energy bars were too simlar to their cookies. So BSA backed down. MAN WERE THOSE GOOD ENERGY BARS I GOT FOR FREE


    • #3

      From a purely financial view to the unit selling, popcorn beats cookies hands down any day of the week (at least in my experience). Why? Because cookies provide $.65 / box profit to the troop on a $4 box of cookies (in my daughter's Council)....about 16%. Popcorn provides $3.50 profix on a $10 bag of caramel corn (35%).

      My son's old pack had 40 boys selling last year, sold $20,000 work of popcorn and now have $7,500 in the bank to show for it. (about $190 per Scout).

      For my daughter's Girl Scout troop to make $190 per scout, each Girl needs to sell 300 boxes of cookies or so. Much harder.

      From a customer perspective, however, it seems to me that popcorn is seen as more of a 'donation', whereas you get more value when buying GS cookies (even though the number of cookies / box trends lower, of course).

      Popcorn ordering really isn't too complicated as the boys find out pretty quick that the microwave and small packages are the ones that sell, which really limits choices to 4 or 5 items at a practical level for most customers. $.02 FWIW.


      • #4
        I should also add, that as a former popcorn kernel for Cubs and a cookie manager for GSUSA, that the amount of paperwork and complexity on the backend is SO much greater with cookies, it's ridiculous. Running a popcorn sale is infinitely easier...fewer units, less paperwork, etc.


        • #5
          I have also been there, done that, for both BSA and GSUSA, and you are so right. There are WAY more forms that have to be filled out for cookies.

          For those on the cookies side, while the cost might be lower ($4 here) than popcorn, you are only getting a handful of cookies for that price.

          As others have mentioned, the girls have to sell a LOT more cookies in order to make a decent profit. In this economy many people are only buying 1 or 2 items. If the boys sell two $10 items they have usually made at least $6. The girls make UNDER $2 for those two boxes of cookies.

          The biggest difference between GSUSA cookies, and BSA popcorn, is that the GSUSA cookie program (not sale) is a National sponsored program, and the BSA popcorn sale is local, not National.

          GSUSA National contracts the cookie bakers. There are only TWO bakeries that are authorized to make, and distribute Girl Scout Cookies. GSUSA National creates, and produces all of the program materials connected to the Cookie program. The individual councils set their own sale dates, pricing, profit, and incentive programs.

          While BSA National encourages councils to hold fundraisers, and acknowledges that the popcorn sale is rather a tradition for many councils, that is the extent of their involvement. If a council decides to sell popcorn they pick their own popcorn vendor, and everything else about their sale. While Trail's End is popular, there are others out there. Campmaster's is another popular large vendor, and some councils use small, local, popcorn companies. Some councils do not sell popcorn at all.

          So, if you are unhappy with your local popcorn sale, don't complain to National. They have nothing to do with it. Get a movement going in your local council to change who you get your popcorn from, and how the sale is done. Or even drop it altogether in favor of some other, cheaper, product.


          • #6
            The back-end paperwork greater? Who cares! Girl Scout cookies are affordable. Boy Scout popcorn is not.


            • #7
              Yes, when my son was a cubscout they had a $5 box (I think only 5 pack of microwave in it..) The 15 package box (don't recall the price maybe $10 maybe $12) was a better deal, but the $5 boxes were an easy sell.. Why?? because people supported the boy Scouts without feeling they were spending too much money..

              Much harder sell when they removed the 5 pack boxes for $5.


              • #8
                Be glad of the BSA's fundraising approach vs GSUSA. With Girl Scouts, you must sell cookies first in order to engage in any other type of fundraiser later.

                I think the popcorn is tremendously overpriced and our pack doesn't sell it, choosing instead for a low-price-point ($3), high volume fundraiser. Occasionally I get a parent who complains why we don't sell popcorn, at which point I ask them if they want to be the popcorn kernel and run the fundraiser.

                So needless to say, we still are not selling popcorn!


                • #9
                  I'm curious, does any council's have an incentive for Boy Scouts and Venturers to sell popcorn?

                  In my council, any Boy Scout or Venturer can sign up for a program where the full 66% or 67%, whichever it is, goes into a scout account at the council office for their use. However here are the conditions

                  1) They can only use the money for NSJ, WSJ, Philmont, FL Sea Base, Northern Tier, and Pamlico Sea Base. I think, but don't quote me on it, NYLT is also an option for use.

                  2) If you do not use the money in the account for said activities before ageing out, the money goes to council.

                  We have lots of folks take advantage of this.


                  • #10
                    People walking by a show-and-sell are not interested in making a large purchase for either the GSUSA or BSA. They want to make a small purchase to help the kids and not break the bank. GSUSA with a $3.50 purchase is easy to swallow, but a $15 "case" of unpopped popcorn is more difficult. I would like to see the gourmet popcorn available for the boys to offer at $1/$2 individual serving so people can hand over a buck or two, get a treat and if everyone stops by and drops off a small amount, there should be a nice line forming to show that it's a popular option rather than having a ton of people say, "Sorry, not right now" and keep on walking.

                    Your mileage may vary,



                    • #11
                      I purchase a box of cookies from every Girl Scout that asks me, because the price is good and so are the products.

                      Due to the price of pop-corn I can't afford to purchase from every Boy Scout that asks me.


                      • #12
                        Saw a report on this morning's new about the GSA cookies. GSA is reducing the types of cookies to 6 kinds this year, all best sellers. The report also stated that the cookie sale is a $700 million profit for the GSA. While I realize this is put on by their national office, does anyone have any idea what the BSA popcorn brings in?

                        I agree that the BSA has priced themselves out of the market with the popcorn. Smaller, cheaper packages would se1l much better than the $15 boxes and $50 tins. We are not participating in the sale due to the expense and headache of paperwork, picking the product up, and the time of year it is sold (in the fall when all of the schools are doing fundraisers).


                        • #13
                          Done popcorn and cookies and found that the paperwork was about the same, but believe me that GSUSA and every council is serious as a heartattack about the money. Popcorn just had more math required.

                          And why don't we have a $3-4 box of microwave popcorn? Give us something to work with!

                          (This message has been edited by Nike)


                          • #14
                            Back when my kids were in Cub Scouts and selling popcorn part of the selling was done in front of the Supermarket. The tins never sold but were I catching. The boys also figured out that buy breaking open the Microwave popcorn boxes and selling the individual packs worked best. They also figured out there was greater profit that way.


                            • #15
                              I agree there needs to be some lower-priced product for the folks who don't care to spend $15. At $3.50, I buy cookies from every Girl Scout I see, just to be nice.

                              I think the old $5 boxes were the $20 variety pack broken up. We were threatened to not break up the case but did it anyway. It was the perfect price point for folks who just wanted to support Scouts. Our popcorn colonel would reassemble the cases from the returned individual packs and at the end of the season we would just donate the odd packs to the local VFD.

                              I know everyone is feeling all warm as fuzzy about the program to take folk's small contributions and buy popcorn for the troops, but you do understand the business angle there, right? Before, if I gave a kid $10 donation instead of buying popcorn, the whole $10 went to the pack. Now, by buying popcorn for the troops, the $10 is split between the council and the vendor. A pack would come out ahead by keeping the money and making a donation to the USO or Marine Corps League or other organization.

                              By the way, ScoutFish, at $35.00 for 100 boxes, I'll take all the thin mints you can get your hands on.