HomeBusinessGirl Scout cookies crumble under supply chain woes, labor shortage

Girl Scout cookies crumble under supply chain woes, labor shortage


For some Woman Scouts and their bake sale followers, it’s shaping as much as be one other powerful cookie season.

Blame the coronavirus pandemic for the wildly vacillating provide and demand over the previous two years: a surplus of unsold cookies in 2021 and supply chain issues in 2022. This yr is seeing related issues. Final month, the Woman Scouts’s hotly anticipated new cookie offered out quicker than Beyoncé tickets, and wound up on eBay for four times the price.

Louisville-based Little Brownie Bakers this week blamed the acquainted forces of provide chain and labor shortages, with excessive climate thrown into the combination, for manufacturing delays which have disrupted this season’s cookie success efforts. Little Brownie Bakers is considered one of solely two corporations licensed to make the cookies — and it bakes for the overwhelming majority of Woman Scout wants.

“We share the frustration that some Woman Scout troops really feel this cookie season,” Little Brownie Bakers mentioned in a press release Thursday, assuring Woman Scouts and their clients that “the groups in our bakery have been working time beyond regulation to verify troops get their preliminary orders.”

In an e mail to The Washington Submit on Saturday, a spokesperson for Little Brownie Bakers mentioned that whereas a number of points have affected the promoting season, the bakery is “on monitor to satisfy preliminary orders.”

“Nonetheless, LBB has produced extra Woman Scout cookies presently than final yr, and our groups on the bakery are working exhausting to make sure preliminary orders are stuffed,” the spokesperson mentioned.

Management for the Teamsters Native 783, which represents an array of jobs on the facility, together with bakers, mixers, forklift drivers, caramel mixers and mechanics, didn’t reply to requests for remark Saturday.

The newest Girl Scout cookies sold out fast. Now, they’re on eBay.

Throughout america, Woman Scout councils — the broader geographic physique that consists of native troops — contract with Little Brownie Bakers or ABC Bakers, the one two amenities licensed to make the cookies. According to CNBC, Little Brownie Bakers provides 75 % of all native troops, which have struggled this season to satisfy gross sales targets amid the delays.

Annual income from the cookie program is a key funding supply for native councils, which take the bigger share of the gross sales, and the person troops, which use the proceeds to pay for actions, journey and different provides.

“We all know this was one other sudden setback to councils provided by Little Brownie Bakers throughout an already difficult cookie season,” Woman Scouts USA mentioned in a press release addressing the delays. The nationwide group pledged to “soften the affect of those ongoing points” however didn’t instantly reply Saturday when requested to elaborate.

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Because the 2023 cookie season winds down, it’s unclear how the Woman Scouts would possibly mitigate the persistent provide points — however they aren’t alone in dealing with these challenges or scrambling for solutions, mentioned Jonathon Swart, who manages perishable meals transportation methods for BlueGrace Logistics.

The interconnectedness of the meals provide chain means it may be simply shaken by native or world disruptions, starting from extreme weather in Kentucky, which shuts downs floor transit, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has hindered two of the world’s greatest grain exporters, Swart mentioned.

“If you’re a producer used to having the ability to supply substances with consistency, even a three-week delay can completely throw off the schedule of those amenities which can be working 24-hour manufacturing,” Swart mentioned.

The Woman Scouts, which lack a various manufacturing base, face much more restricted choices.

“Possibly they carry in one other provider, one other bakery that might assist them be extra various,” Swart mentioned of the manufacturing aspect. “However it is a downside confronted throughout all meals manufacturing over the previous a number of years.”

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