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So you've been snarfing sleeve upon sleeve of Thin Mints for years. But did you know the taste, price and names of cookies can vary by location? As Girl Scout cookie season ramps up in Minnesota, here's an opportunity to test your cookie IQ:

True or false: Thin Mints purchased in Moorhead will taste the same as those bought in Minneapolis.


Girl Scouts of America's 111 councils — including the three that include areas of Minnesota — sell cookies made by one of two different bakeries: ABC Bakers in Richmond, Va., and Little Brownie Bakers in Louisville, Ky. Each has slightly different recipes — and often distinct names — for nearly every flavor of cookie.

Here's how the cookie crumbles in Minnesota: Girl Scouts River Valleys (which includes southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and one county in Iowa) as well as Duluth-headquartered Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Lakes and Pines use ABC Bakers. But Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons, which includes North and South Dakota and a strip of western Minnesota, uses Little Brownie.

"Let me tell you, I've done the blind taste testing and there is quite the difference between some cookies," said Tammy Freese, senior director of product program at Girl Scouts River Valleys.

"You'll notice our Caramel deLites have more of a milk chocolate, whereas the Samoas [Little Brownie's Caramel deLites equivalent] have a dark chocolate flavor. And then ABC Thin Mints are just a little bit more minty than the Little Brownie Thin Mints."

A few kinds are different altogether: While St. Paul scouts sell shortbread cookies topped with citrus icing called Lemonades, the Dakota Horizons council's offering is a lemon-flavored cookie called Lemon-Ups. And while Cinnamon Toast Crunch-esque newcomer Toast-Yay! will be available in the Twin Cities, the graham-cracker Girl Scout S'mores will be available in Moorhead.

The only cookie recipe that both bakeries follow to a T is for the brownie-like Adventurefuls, which debuted in 2022. As they roll out new cookies in the future, both bakeries will use the same recipe, according to Freese.

True or False: This year, Girl Scout cookies are cheaper in Duluth than in Mankato.


Shoppers along the North Dakota border and in northern Minnesota will pay $5 for a box, but prices rose to $6 in the Twin Cities and the southern part of the state this year. That's because each council makes their own pricing decisions.

Many councils around the country decided to raise prices this year. But in Minnesota, only River Valleys made the move.

"2019 was actually our last price adjustment for consumers and back then we went from $4 to $5. So it has been several years," said Freese. "Think about all the things that have risen in price just recently."

Of course, making change and counting by sixes will be trickier, especially for the youngest scouts. Freese has spotted several troops using the Taylor Swift friendship bracelet trend to make this a little easier — stringing beads that spell out multiples of six.

"Then girls can quickly do the cookie math, just looking at their bracelet," she said.

The fundraising math works out to 79% of the purchase price going to the girl's troop — to fund camps, activities and supplies — and to the regional council. The rest goes to the bakeries to pay for cookies, packaging, shipping and other costs.

True or False: Girl Scouts will soon celebrate a century of cookie sales.


The tradition is even older. It began back in 1917, when the first troops began baking cookies to sell to raise funds.

These days, Girl Scouts of America is working to update and streamline operations. The organization has grown its online cookie business, allowing girls to create their own sales order links in recent years and creating a "cookie finder" so customers can put in a ZIP code to look up the nearest Girl Scout cookie booth.

In the Twin Cities area council, the bestselling cookies are, in order:

A) Thin Mints, Trefoils, Peanut Butter Sandwich

B) Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties

C) Thin Mints, Lemonades, Adventurefuls

The answer is B.

The top seller for Girl Scouts River Valleys, for many, many years running, has been Thin Mints, followed by Caramel deLites and then Peanut Butter Patties (the ones that are covered in chocolate, not to be confused with the more old-school Peanut Butter Sandwiches).

That trend is likely to continue this year, Freese said.

Girl Scouts of America is not debuting any new varieties in 2024, and last year's sold-out, limited, online-only Raspberry Rallies are not returning.

Some years, the organization announces that cookie varieties will be "retired" at the end of the season, driving a boost in sales from those who stock their freezers while they still can. For now, it looks like all of the varieties are safe.

What's the Girl Scouts' cookie sale mascot this year?

A) A llama

B) A mermaid

C) An axolotl

The answer is C.

Get ready to axolotl questions. Each year, the national organization and the bakeries come up with a list of three or four animals (mythical creatures are not allowed) and send out a survey to get "girl input." The animal with the most votes goes on to star in cookie badges, prizes and promotional materials.

For 2024, the pink aquatic salamander called an axolotl (often spotted these days as a popular pet and as a trendy stuffed animal) carried the day.

"It's always amazing how they choose the hottest animals of the moment," Freese said.

True or False: You can buy Girl Scout cookie scented deodorant.


Believe it or not, a new — and slightly jarring — Girl Scouts licensing deal is debuting this spring, as California-based bath and body products company Native rolled out deodorants, shampoos and body washes in official cookie scents, including Thin Mints, Trefoils, Coconut Caramel, Peanut Butter and Lemon.

The national organization makes these partnership decisions, but Freese said she doesn't see a downside, even to deodorant.

"I like to think that that just keeps Girl Scouts front and center," she said. "People see that we're still around after all these years. We're relevant, we're trendy. And I wear it as a badge of honor that these companies want to partner with us because we have such an iconic brand."