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  • Popcorn Sales...?

    I've had mixed feelings on Popcorn sales for a while.

    I've done them...but trying to sell a $9 or $15 of popcorn is often a stretch.

    We quit. Now we do other things and are doing just fine.

    The boys enjoy the fund raisers and it does not stress them out.

    I guess I've never seen the "link" between Popcorn and Scouting.

  • #2

    A little history on TRAILS END and BSA, if memory serves. And if what I was told is wrong, someone enlighten me.

    Way back when, 3 or 4 councils out west lost UW funding, and needed to come up with a way to make up the lost monies. Cookies, and anything even remotely similar to cookies is out of the question as the GSUSA will go after ya. I believe one of the councils had the company that makes Trails End in it, and the relationship was born.

    Now TRAILS END is not endorsed by national, but as more and more councils loast money from UW, Trails End seemed to be the answer to make up the difference, and it sapread like wildfire.

    After looking at my council's FOS info, I can now how important Trails End is.


    • #3

      I have to agree with Scouter, in my council at least Trails End popcorn is close to the end of its days. Less than 1/4 of all units will sell it because no matter how much a potential customer supports scouting laying out $15-$20 for popcorn, compared to $4 for a box of GS cookies, is just a little hard to do. At roundtables scouters have complained about ever decreasing sales with their unit over the last five years.


      • #4
        Oh I understand the price issue. I was just giving a but of history.

        In regards to my council and its budget, yes I know I probably heard it all before, and it went in one ear and out the other. But I'm doing an FOS presentation tomorrow and I looked very closely at the stats I was given. I was surprised at how important scout shop and popcorn sales are to the council.


        • #5
          I agree Trails End is at the end of the trail. Is there a product that Boy Scouts could sell nationally? I think the idea was to made Trails End Popcorn equal the Girl Scouts Cookies.

          If that wont happen, and it wont, what could take its place?


          • #6
            Our August Cub Scout Roundtable was a program on how to have an effective popcorn sale. The methods described helped treble the sales of my Pack last year.

            This year I'm promoting the idea of the council having a council wide training session on the nuts and bolts of an effective popcorn sale --- much like we did last August but with a council wide audience.

            For several years the council has done a series of "Popcorn Kickoffs" in different geographic parts of the council. Attendance earns a higher percentage of the sales returned to units.

            That's fine, but it's a Rah! Rah! program rather than outlining effective sales and business methods.

            I'd like to substitute real training for one of the kickoff programs and see who is interested in attending and the extent to which those units popcorn sales increase.

            I have a well placed spy promoting that in the council popcorn sale leadership now....


            • #7
              In the business world, I have heard that a rejection rate of 90% is great with a success rate of 10%.

              However to a scout being told no 9 out of 10 times is very disheartening.

              After 60 tries and making 6 is hard to cheer up a boy that does not want to keep hearing..."Sorry...that is just a bit to much".

              We want our scouts to feel good about their fundraiser and believe they are delivering a product or service that is worthwhile.

              Popcorn just has not been it for us.

              It may work for others, but not everyone and it is obvious that not all councils subscribe to it either.


              • #8
                Having done GS cookies, popcorn, and other fundraisers....

                GS cookies net my daughter's troop 50 cents a box, on a $4 price point. 12.5 percent to the troop.

                Popcorn nets 35% minimum to the unit. So that $10 bag of caramel corn equates to 7 boxes of girl scout cookies.

                Also, the BSA is MUCH more liberal on how their popcorn sales are administered to the benefit of the unit. Not to mention that in the GSUSA you are required to sell cookies before they will approve any other type of fundraiser.

                Yes popcorn is priced high but it's a fundraiser, not WalMart.

                I'll take popcorn any day!!!


                • #9
                  As a novice to this popcorn thing it occurred to me that if you split a large case into a bag with 2 bags of microwave popcorn you would get your price down to about $5.00.

                  I mean I buy GS cookies, liking the PB Sandwich Cookies, but I know that quality/quantity wise I'm better off buying Nutter Butters. So I'm doing it to support Girl Scouts.

                  So the question is whether there is a prohibition against splitting cases of popcorn?


                  • #10
                    We always sell individual packets for those that do not want or need the larger ones. One 18 pack gets 18 sales at $1 each. Just slower getting it done.

                    I wish they would bring back the 30 packs that they had. There were 5 boxes of 6, and we sold them for $6 each. Breaking them up tripled or quadrupled our sales on that item.

                    Still would like to see something like a Crackerjack Box item for a low pp; think it would be a huge seller.


                    • #11

                      In answer to your question "So the question is whether there is a prohibition against splitting cases of popcorn?"

                      Yes, it says right on the box (not case of boxes), not for individual resale.

                      Although, many units broke up 1 case of microwave popcorn at a time to sell 1-2 at a time. Mostly for people who want to help, but don't have a loose $20.

                      Now, once you open a box, the unit has bought the box....I know at work I did that, you should see the people come sniffing when I pop a bag of Kettle corn.


                      • #12
                        I really don't like popcorn.
                        I hate the smell of it and never eat the horrible stuff.
                        I'm not in sales or marketing. But I do buy things that support a cause or an organization.
                        Our local Elks sell good quality brooms.
                        I have no idea what a good quality broom sells for but when we need a new broom I call the nice person from the Elks and hand over whatever it is she asks for.
                        I'm happy with my new broom and life goes on.
                        From a fund raising point of view the problem with brooms is that I don't need that many new brooms in a year. So of course sales of brooms, I'd guess are kinda slow.
                        Even if the Elks were to have a time when the went all out to sell brooms, I'm guessing most people would only buy one or two.
                        Thinking of things that I use on a every day basis that I'd buy maybe in quantity to maybe support a cause and maybe I wouldn't mind paying a little over the top for just because I knew I was supporting a worth while cause?
                        I came up with garbage bags.
                        I use a lot of garbage bags, I really never look at what they cost, I just pick up a few boxes and throw them in the cart when we are running low.
                        I could see me buying more boxes if a group were selling them for a limited time.
                        Of course they would have to be a good quality item.
                        If the bag had "This Bag Supports Local Scouts" Printed on th outside, come pick up day the entire neighborhood would know what a good person I am for supporting Scouting. If the box had a picture of a cute little Cub Scout on it and he looked at me every-time I went for a new bag, I'd remember where I got the bags.
                        Just an idea.


                        • #13
                          My son sold garbage bags as a fund raiser for the last jambo. It was pretty easy, the cost per box was low enough that strangers would buy them, and we actually use them. I appreciate that fact! So many fundraisers are for kitschy stuff that I just really don't want or need. Please don't try to sell me one more over-priced smelly candle!


                          • #14
                            Not trying to hijack.
                            The other day I walked through the dish washing room in the jail during a meal service.
                            The inmates who use the very big dish-washing machine have to spray each tray before it goes into the machine. The spray hits the trays and splashes back at them so they cover themselves with the white 50 gal. Garbage can liners.
                            As ever I said the first thing that came into my head.
                            I didn't make a lot of friends when I said that they looked like walking condoms!
                            Oh well!


                            • #15

                              ... Snow clearing insurance in Southeast Louisiana.

                              There was a troop that went around and "sold" snow clearing insurance for $5 or $10. They insured that if it snowed, they would clear your walkway and driveway withing 48 hours of it snowing.

                              To my knowledge they never lifted a shovel to date.