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Popcorn vs cookies

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  • #16
    >>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.

    True, but only if it's a zero sum game.

    To bring in a girl scout cookie example, we never (rarely) got donations. When we started buying for the troops we got a ton of sales, and we found someone to donate the shipping. (Now I think ??? it's worked out thru the military per se.) So a portion of something is much better than nothing.

    But...I cannot speak for popcorn, and if your donations have now turned into military buys--yes, everyone else is getting their take of what had been all yours.

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    • #17
      >>"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?"

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      • #18
        Some councils have a "bundle" option which is a set of 3 specific cookies sold together. The core 6 cookies are used in the bundles.

        Each Council is allowed to choose its own extra flavors from the bakery. For instance, this year, our committee dumped Dulce de Lece and barely kept Thank U Berry Munch after one leader pleaded with us that they were her family's new fav. And, now everyone wants to buy the cookie we couldn't give away last year.

        C'est la vie.

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        • #19
          Full story on reduced cookie flavors can be found at the following link. At this point 12 councils out of 100+ are running a pilot program with only 6 flavors vs. the typical 8.

          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704881304576093691253234896.html

          As always, google (or bing or yahoo) is your friend...


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          • #20
            Just as long as they keep Thin Mints and Samoas I will be happy!

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            • #21
              yeah...about 100 boxes for $35.00

              Ooops! You know what I really meant!

              But what a great deal it was!

              Now,I not saying one's paperwork is better or easier than the other. Not my point and I don't even care.

              We used to sell a ton of $5.00 boxes and we sold a grossly enormous amount of individual microwave packs for $1.00
              I would even bet that over half of those single packs went straight into the garbabe, but people have no problem giving away a dollar or even five.

              But try selling a $20.00 2 qt tin of popcorn when the person can go to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or any drug store and get a 5 gallon can of 3 flavor popcorn for $4.00

              WE made more money off selling the dollar packs and $5.00 packs than we even come close to now.

              Sure, people don't mind donating, but they don't want to donate a whole days worth of meal money.

              The main point I was making is this. You get a box of cookies for $3.50. Doesn't matter what flavor it is.

              In BSA you can this flavor A only in this size, but not that size unless you get a double A/B flavor. Go bigger and more $$ and you can also choose from flavor C. But if you want flavor A and C , you have to buy the ultra home mortgage size community A/B/C package.

              Or you find a girl scout and hand her $10.50 and get three equal size boxes of flavor A, B , and C


              Seriously, which line do you think the customers like better?

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              • #22
                I, for one, would like to thank the girls for reminding me once a year that a cookie is also something that can pleasantly infiltrate my digestive system...and not my computer system.

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                • #23
                  The overpriced popcorn is indeed a problem in successful fundraising in our area so at roundtable we discussed alternatives one night and now many of us have three different fundraisers for different times of the year, do one or all three. The council has stopped trying to push popcorn, finally, since sales have plummeted in the last 5 years.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    It all boils down to a price point / marketing / perception of value issue.

                    The Girl Scouts have a GREAT product that is perceived as a good value at a price point that 90% of people asked to buy will not think twice about throwing a few dollars towards. Anything that an average adult thinks is good for youth, they'll give $5 or less towards without thinking - the fact they get some good tasting cookies (even if in a small package) is just a bonus.

                    On the other hand... BSA has a high price point on a product that on the surface does not seem to be a very good value. The entry price point of $10 gives many people pause... you get into double digits and people start to think with their heads instead of their hearts. Its much, much easier to get ten people to give $1 a piece to a good cause, than to get one person to give $10 to the same cause. Entry price of $10 also causes problems with cash transactions. People carry ones, fives, and twenty dollar bills. If you have to part with a $20 (even if getting change in return), people stop and THINK about the transaction. If they can pay fast and easy with four $1's or a $5, they don't think twice about spending it.

                    I go to the grocery store... walk the cookie isle... almost every box or bag of cookies will run me $4 - $6 dollars. There are no Thin Mints or Samoas to be found... only from the girl scouts selling them outside - at roughly the same price as the store, maybe a 50% increase.

                    I go to the same grocery store... walk the snack isle... a box of Crunch-n-Munch costs me $2.95 and a 10-pack of whatever flavor microwave Pop-Secret costs me about $6-$8 depending on flavor. If you're willing to go with store brand, that 10-pack of microwavw just dropped below $5 a box. Yet, we expect folks to pay $15 for the same thing right outside the store ?!?!? That's a 100% - 150% increase in price for something with no unique value above what they can already get at the store ?!?! This equals a PERCEPTION of POOR VALUE on the part of the consumer and is a huge hurdle to overcome to close the sale.

                    We've always had success with popcorn sales, but I am amazed that we do so well. Getting rid of the tins and having larger bags helped this year. Last year, I was embarrased and ashamed to see scouts handing over that tiny tin of caramel corn for a $10 cost. I would have felt better had the boys just been asking for a straight up donation.

                    Bottom line - get a better product (one that the consumer can't get at any supermarket in the country) and set it at a price point around $5. Better yet, have several items at that same price point and make it EASY for your customer to spend their money.

                    Don't know if there is a marketing merit badge, but BSA could learn a few tricks from some elementary marketing and retailing concepts.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      DeanRx said:
                      "This equals a PERCEPTION of POOR VALUE on the part of the consumer and is a huge hurdle to overcome to close the sale."

                      Then change the perception. Point out that (in our council any way) 70% of the cost of popcorn purchase stays within the council (or state in our case)

                      Most people will look at the price of that $10 bag of pocorn differently if you explain $3.50 stays within the state and $3.50 stays within the pack (our council YMMV)

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                      • #26
                        "get a better product (one that the consumer can't get at any supermarket in the country) and set it at a price point around $5. Better yet, have several items at that same price point and make it EASY for your customer to spend their money."

                        great idea! Next winter we may try selling cookie box sizes of hot chocolate mix for about $5

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                        • #27
                          Dean, you make some good arguments as to why the popcorn at its current price range is so difficult to move it is just NOT competitive with store brands whether or not part of it goes to the scouts. Funny you mentioned the tins because when we did sell popcorn we moved more tins than boxes, people collected them and others said they were great for storing things, others said they were a nice momento of scouting, so go figure. I use them myself for my patch collection. Oh well to each their own, lol.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            pchadbo - the thing about the "value" argument is that people rarely stop long enough to hear about how 70% of the cost of popcorn stays in the state/council/yada yada.

                            In order to make that particular pitch, you need to first hook the customer. At $10 or more entry level cost, it becomes difficult to get the person's attention for long enough to hook them.


                            Eagle92 - you asked about incentives for boy scouts/crews to sell popcorn. Our council has (had?) such an incentive. Boys who sold a certain amount could get a discount on some summer programs that same year. Problem is, the summer programs were NOT summer camp (we didn't run a summer camp program in our council); they were for a T-2-1 long weekend or "trail to Eagle" seminar. Two problems. 1) Boring! and 2) not applicable to all scouts

                            Last summer, our council re-established a summer camp program for the first time in many years, so MAYBE they'll offer a real incentive on camp fees in the future.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              pchadbo - the thing about the "value" argument is that people rarely stop long enough to hear about how 70% of the cost of popcorn stays in the state/council/yada yada


                              I totally agree! People who are not in scouting or involved in some way have no clue whatsoever where the money goes or who gets what percentage.

                              Before I became involved...I never even head of BSA having a popcorn sale. Never knew scouts sold it. Now, you have to figure I had no thoughts about breakdowns or percentages.

                              Also, it's easier to hand over a $5 bill because it's only $5. It has nothing to do with percentages or what the breakdown is. It's because it's only $5.00 ...and that's assuming i have a $5 bill in my walet.

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                              • #30
                                Affordable food sells. A $3.50 box of cookies or a $3.00 hoagie or a $3.00 pizza sells. A $10 box of popcorn doesn't.

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