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A push for gluten free Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookie Boxes

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies, in various forms and flavors, for decades now and the cookies are probably more popular than ever. But Girl Scouts themselves, as well as some of their parents, are starting to ask for some changes in the Girl Scout cookie lineup as they become more socially aware, more health conscious and more interested in the actual products they’re selling. Some girls are already asking for Girl Scout cookie makers to try to eliminate non-sustainably produced palm oil from their cookie recipes. Now, one mom and her Girl Scout daughter are pushing for the Girl Scouts to make at least one variety of their popular cookies gluten free. The mother in this case has started a petition in her area, Long Island, NY, to prove to the Girl Scouts that there is a market for gluten free cookies. Her daughter, who has been a Brownie for 2 years, has celiac disease and can’t eat the cookies that her friends, family and community members enjoy.

This young Scout is not alone. There are many other kids and parents with Celiac disease (as well as those who opt for wheat/gluten free diets for other reasons) who are either Girl Scout members or supporters of the organization that feel left out by the lack of gluten free options. The Girl Scouts say that they already conducted extensive market research and concluded that there isn’t enough demand to justify the expense of introducing a new cookie.

The gluten free market has boomed in the past couple of years, and given the fact that the Girl Scouts have introduce many new cookies heavily influenced by popular diets and trends in the past few years, it seems unlike them to resist going gluten free for at least one box. For instance, organization has featured Sugar Free Chocolate Chips and even 100 calorie pack Cinna-spins and low fat Daisy Go Rounds. They try new cookies all the time and change out those that don’t make it. Granted, all of these “diet” cookies were phased out, but they had their fans and if 100-calorie pack Girl Scout Cookies get a chance, perhaps it is time for gluten free Girl Scout Cookies to have one, as well.

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  • Linda
    June 2, 2011

    It does seem odd they are resistant. GF is such a big thing and all of the stores and food companies seem to be jumping on the band-wagon and getting GF products out there. I even joked the other day that we might start seeing it reversed and the products saying “Gluten” instead of “Gluten-Free” because the gluten based products will be the speciality item, not the GF one.

  • Linda
    June 2, 2011

    They absolutely need to create a Gluten-Free cookie. I’ve been gluten intolerant for over 20 years and don’t buy girl scout cookies for just that reason. Approximately 5 years ago the ratio was 1,000 to 1 for people with gluten allergies, now the average is 100 to 1. I would fully support this cause.

  • Neil Butterfield
    June 2, 2011

    Yeas, you would think that the girl guides association would be more accommodating.

  • concerned celiac
    June 2, 2011

    My concern with a GF girl scout cookie is — would it be a SAFE GF cookie? Are they going to make it on shared equipment with the other cookies? Same facility? Will it be certified GF? When it comes to baked goods, flour in the air, in the nooks and crannies of the machines, it’s a very serious concern. For me, this is only exciting if they do it properly, and we know so many companies do not do it properly since it is expensive.

  • jess☆
    June 2, 2011

    Given that it’s made safely – great idea! One of my younger sisters is gluten intolerant, and it’d be great if other kids like her didn’t have to miss out!

  • joe lauria
    June 5, 2011

    I am not celiac, but am allergic to wheat and would welcome a gluten free cookie. King Arthur makes a mix and it should be easy for the Girl Scouts to replicate their products. Lets get a petition going to make the GS’s aware of how big an issue this is. As was pointed out in another comment the large supermarket chains have caught on to this.
    Joe in Vermont

  • Alis in Wnderlnd
    June 5, 2011

    I also wish they’d manufactured at least one box in a completely nut free facility. My daughter is a Daisy GS and will be selling cookies next year. She is allergic to tree nuts and the risk is just too great for her to even have nut free cookies that share the same production line. I think it stinks that she has to sell cookies she can’t even eat. Same thing goes for GF. Plus, we pretty much eat only whole natural foods with no HFCS or other chemicals. (yes, we shop at Whole Foods exclusively and we rarely eat out.) I think this is a growing trend that GS should embrace.

  • Angie Halten
    June 6, 2011

    If we don’t ask, things won’t change. Keep pushing the issue girls! I wish the Girl Scouts all the luck in getting gluten free varieties. All kids should be able to enjoy those delicious cookies.

  • Cookie Fan
    February 9, 2012

    I work extensively with Girl Scout cookies and often hear requests for gluten-free or sugar-free or low-fat cookies. And while I sympathize with those who need these special requirements, the numbers don’t play out. Despite the people that request them, low-fat and sugar-free cookies have had horrible sales. People just don’t buy them. That’s why they were not kept as part of the product line. If there were dozens of varieties, it would be more feasible to have specialty recipes. But with only 8 varieties, it doesn’t make good business sense to continue to produce a flavor that doesn’t sell.

  • Cassandra
    February 16, 2012

    As a mother who has celiac disease that has 3 children 2 of which are girls, that also have celiac disease. I wish that there where gluten free girl scout cookies. Because when girls are in girl scouts they learn how to sell and manage the money from sales and many other valuable lessons when they sell cookies. When my oldest joined girl scouts she was thrilled until it came time to sell cookies. She brought home the flier and asked me which ones we could buy and I had to tell her that we can’t because we can’t eat them but encouraged her to sell them to others. But she tought about it and said that if we couldn’t by any and neither could my mother (she has it too) then she didn’t want to sell any because she didn’t know who to sell to. She left girl scouts shortly after that and her little sister never wanted to join for the same reason. They need to realize that there are many little girls out there that can’t enjoy the very product that they want them to sell.

  • Anne
    February 21, 2012

    Celiac condtion is becoming a more commond condition these days. Not just adults but also childron. Some girls will never be Girl Scolts because they are not able to eat these great cookies.
    All we request is for Little Brownie Baker just produce three of their most populor cookies to be gluten free. We are not asking for all of their products.
    If they ever did they would enrich their company profit, but not until then.

  • Cal
    March 11, 2012

    I was a troop leader for ten years. I have gluten sensitivity it concerns me after all of my service that I can no longer enjoy a GS cookie and the girl scouts will not even try.

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