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You’re absolutely going to believe what the most popular Girl Scout cookie in Minnesota is

Minnesota’s Girl Scouts River Valleys council was the top cookie-selling council nationwide last year.

In an event held by Girl Scouts River Valleys, Twin Cities troop volunteers picked up crates of cookies at a State Fairgrounds drive-up cookie drop on Friday.
In an event held by Girl Scouts River Valleys, Twin Cities troop volunteers picked up cases of cookies at a State Fairgrounds drive-up cookie drop on Friday.
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul

On Friday, with one week to go until Girl Scout cookie sales begin in much of Minnesota, Twin Cities troop volunteers picked up crates of cookies at a State Fairgrounds drive-up cookie drop event, part of a coordinated effort to get thousands of cases of Girl Scout cookies out to troops so girls can sell them.

The event was held by Girl Scouts River Valleys, the council that serves about half of Minnesota counties, several counties in western Wisconsin and one in Iowa. Cookie sales begin next Saturday, Feb. 19.

Ahead of cookie season’s start, we asked Girl Scouts River Valleys to give us some stats on Minnesotans’ favorite Girl Scout cookies.

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Thin Mints win

Thin Mints, mint-flavored, chocolate-covered biscuits packaged in a green box, are perhaps the most iconic Girl Scout cookie. These cookies trace their origins back to “Cooky-Mints,” first introduced in 1939, according to Time Magazine — just three years after Girl Scout cookies began to be standardized.

Thin Mints are the second best-selling cookie in the nation — not just considering Girl Scout cookies, said Tammy Freese, director of product program with Girl Scouts River Valleys. Number one? Oreos.

Thin Mints
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul
Thin Mints, mint-flavored, chocolate-covered biscuits packaged in a green box, are perhaps the most iconic Girl Scout cookie.
Unsurprisingly, Thin Mints are also the most popular cookie by sales in Minnesota. (Minnesotans are known to hoard boxes of them in the deep freezer so they don’t run out after cookie season ends.) Last year, Thin Mints accounted for 26 percent of the roughly 3.38 million boxes of cookies sold by Girl Scouts River Valleys troops.

Girl Scout cookie boxes sold by type, 2021
Source: Girl Scouts River Valleys

Thin Mints aren’t number one everywhere in the region, though. “In some areas within our jurisdiction, Caramel deLites are a little bit more popular,” Freese said.

Overall, Caramel deLites were the second most popular cookie in Minnesota last year, accounting for 19 percent of sales. You may know these caramel, chocolate and coconut cookies as Samoas. There are two major Girl Scout Cookie manufacturers in the country: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers, which use different names for some of the cookies. Girl Scouts River Valleys somewhat recently switched from Little Brownie to ABC. (For a deeper dive on the differences between Little Brownie and ABC, check out this LA Times piece.)

In third place were Peanut Butter Patties, which combine cookies with layers of peanut butter covered in chocolate, at 14 percent of sales.

In fourth place last year were S’mores cookies, which were discontinued after 2021.

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Local sales top nation

Nationally, many Girl Scout troops saw cookie sales dip in 2021. Girl Scouts of the USA reported having 15 million boxes of unsold cookies, which it attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, sales were up and topped the nation, Freese said. Girl Scouts River Valleys is the tenth-largest council in the U.S. by overall membership, but was first in cookie revenue last year.

Cookie sales begin next Saturday, Feb. 19.
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul
Cookie sales begin next Saturday, Feb. 19.
Despite increased sales, cookie sales revenue dropped 6 percent, in part because the council subsidized shipping for orders of six or more boxes and absorbed credit card fees, which enabled more contact-free transactions and porch drop-offs, Freese said. Other councils saw drops bigger drops. Freese attributed strong sales here to good inventory forecasting that kept supplies moving.

Another factor that helped sales, in addition to online sales and porch drop-offs, were cookie booths at local businesses — something not all troops were allowed to do during the pandemic.

“What makes it even more amazing is our girls are doing this in winter weather and they are just rocking it when it comes to their entrepreneurial skills,” Freese said.