01/05/14 — girl scout cookies to start

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girl scout cookies to start

By Staff Reports
Published in News on January 5, 2014 1:50 AM

Look out New Year's dieters. It is that time of the year again.

The Girl Scout cookie patrols will be on the loose soon.

And unlike in the recent past, cookie lovers can once again expect to hear knocks at their doors from girls pulling wagons filled with cookies.

On Friday, the county's 30 Girl Scout troops kicked off the annual sale season with a rally at Oak Forest Church where, among other activities, the nearly 400 girls came up with ways to entice customers into trying this year's two new cookie varities -- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread and Cranberry Citrus Crisp.

The North Carolina Coastal Pines Council, of which Wayne County is a member, is one of 20 councils nationwide that is serving as a test market for the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread. And while the cookies are slightly more expensive than usual at $5 a box, they were developed in response to requests for a gluten-free option.

Local cookie manager Lillie Thompson explained that Coastal Pines Council was selected as one of the test markets because of its history of strong sales.

Along those same healthy lines, the new Cranberry Citrus Crisps also feature all-natural ingredients, whole grains, no high-fructose corn syrup and no artifical colors, flavors or sweeteners.

Both have been popular in taste tests among the girls, though, Ms. Thompson said. Some have described the Citrus Crisps as "more of a breakfast cookie" with its more subtle sweetness.

"We hope they'll sell better than the new cookie last year," Ms. Thompson said. "The girls seem to enjoy them."

The biggest change this year, though, is not the types of cookies being sold, but rather how they are being sold.

Beginning today, the Scouts are taking the usual pre-sales, but only for about two weeks.

On Jan. 24, the girls will begin booth sales. They will be at:

* Handy Mart No. 50 at U.S. 70 and N.C. 111

* Handy Mart No. 58 at U.S. 70 and N.C. 581

* Walgreen's in Mount Olive

* Country View Western Store

* Wilber's Barbecue

* Berkeley Mall

* Sam's Club

However, on Jan. 19, the girls will begin their walkabouts -- going door-to-door with cookies in hand.

"When I was growing up, I remember seeing the little girls with their wagons, going door to door," Ms. Thompson said. "You should see more girls out selling cookies again."

The goal, she said, is to increase cookie sales, with the idea being that people will be more inclined to buy cookies if they can get them immediately. It also, she said, should lead to fewer pre-sales the girls then are unable to collect, for whatever reason.

But, she explained, they are not just turning the girls loose to roam the streets.

They are being instructed in how to safely go door to door -- never go inside a house, go with an adult, always let people know where you are, never carry large amounts of cash and always wear your uniform.

Finally, she said, the Coastal Pines Council also is once again participating in Operation Cookie Drop, in which people can buy and donate boxes of cookies to servicemen and women. People can also donate their change, she said, which also will go toward buying cookies for the troops, focusing primarily on military installations in North Carolina including Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, as well as the the USOs in Jacksonville and Raleigh and NCPacks4Patriots in Greenville.