I was a Brownie when I was a girl and now my daughter is one. This is a good thing, don't get me wrong, but it also means I have to sell gluten-full cookies every year. Cookies I can't eat even though I can smell their gluteny goodness through the boxes I help peddle and deliver. Imagine my surprise when I learned the Girl Scouts are test marketing a certified gluten-free cookie and they have begun to label allergens in their sales programs.
Right now, the Girl Scouts have their members selling candy and nuts. The full color brochure denotes if an item is kosher, kosher/dairy, and gluten free. It also notes that all products are processed on shared equipment with peanut and tree nut containing products,which means no gluten on the lines either. I have not noticed this effort to label allergens before, so I think it is a great step for the organization, but it would be even better if they listed all of the ingredients in each product on the brochure.
Another great step is the creation of a new chocolate chip shortbread cookie that is being tested in 20 markets this year (not Georgia). Why are they finally selling a gluten-free cookie? According to the organization, "By introducing this new chocolate chip shortbread cookie, we’re inviting consumers who have had to eliminate the standard Girl Scout cookies from their diet to join this great American tradition. A new cookie allows celiac disease sufferers and those avoiding gluten to support the efforts of Girl Scouts as they enjoy a product created just for them."
The cookies are made for the Girl Scouts ABC Bakers. Unfortunately, they aren't very allergen friendly, as they contain both dairy and soy, but they are produced on a dedicated gluten-free line. The cookies are are certified by the Celiac Sprue Association, which means they come in at under five parts per million of gluten, and they:
- Contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high-fructose corn syrup, no palm oil, and no hydrogenated oils.
- Made with real chocolate chips and real butter
- Available in a 5-ounce re-sealable foil pouch package
- Sold for $5.00 per package, which will vary in each market
I wonder what happened to the first gluten-free Girl Scout cookie produced by WholeVine Products as part of a pilot program in Michigan. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan was the first council nationwide to release a gluten-free cookie, the Chocolate Chip Snack Bites, which cost $5 per package. The cookies were only for sale in the Kalamazoo Regional Center in Michigan. I guess the cookie didn't sell well, or maybe it wasn't cost effective to offer on a large scale.
ABC Bakers will conduct research during and after the sale to determine whether to go national with this cookie, so get out there any buy as many gluten-free cookies as you can. The community needs your support to convince the Girl Scouts to launch this cookie nationally. Wouldn't it be fabulous if they released a new gluten-free cookie next year, and then another, and another!
Have you tried the new gluten-free cookie, and/or would you buy it?