By Kevin McClintock
Just when you thought the flow of holiday sweets was winding down, Girl Scouts nationwide are preparing to go door-to-door with their highly anticipated cookies.
Luckily, the newest cookie to hit Joplin’s doorsteps — a taste of Southeast Asia called the Mango Crème — is the organization’s first-ever nutrient-filled treat.
“I think people who eat their favorite (Girl Scout) cookies do it as an indulgence,” said Lisa Nelson, a Girl Scout volunteer. “But it’s always good to have... increasingly nutritious and delicious cookies.”
The Mango Crèmes are vanilla and coconut sandwich cookies with a mango-flavored crème center. The box says the crème features NutriFusion — nutrients derived from fruits. A look at the ingredient list states each cookie is comprised of a natural, whole-food concentrate of cranberries, pomegranates, grapes and strawberries, among others.
Nelson said the crunchy cookie with the fruity filling, built like the famed Oreo, has a distinctive sweet/sour tang to it that stays pleasantly in the mouth.
“And they smell divine,” Nelson said. “I call it the ‘bodywork’ cookie — it tastes good, it’s good for you and it smells good.”
A serving of three cookies holds 180 calories, 25 grams of total carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat. There are no trans fats, hydrogenated oils or preservatives.
The new Mango Crèmes have 15 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B1 and 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins A, C, D, E and B6 per serving.
According to a recent Health Consumer Trending Survey, conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, 87 percent of American consumers are interested in learning more about beneficial products that can provide a host of health benefits.
Because of this, area Girl Scouts participated Friday night in the 2013 Cookie Kick-Off, where girls mingled among nine interactive stations beefing up their knowledge about the products, honing their sales pitches and learning safety tips when moving door-to-door with their stash of sweets.
“It’s not just counting change from selling a $4 box,” Nelson said. “We’re more than just (selling) cookies. We used to be known for cookies, camping and crafts. Today, it’s all about leadership. We’re really focused on developing skills that will serve these girls well” as adults.
There are 338 Girl Scouts and 150 adult volunteers in Jasper County. In the much larger Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland organization, which covers a large portion of the Show-Me State, there are 17,000 girls.
Last year, Simran Anis, a fifth-grade student at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, sold 200 boxes of cookies.
Selling cookies, “camping and exploring” are her favorite things to do with the Scouts.
She likes it that “we get to learn (about things) every day.”
She’s looking forward to selling her cookies, including the new one, as well as manning a booth at a local Wal-Mart store.
The Mango Crème joins seven other cookies — Caramel deLites, Shortbread, Thanks-A-Lot, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Peanut Butter Patties and Thin Mints. Five of the eight cookies are dairy-free, Nelson said.
The new cookie replaces the Shout-Out, which was a crispy, ginger-flavored cookie, Nelson said.
“In our region, the Peanut Butter Patty reigns supreme. Jasper County is a Peanut Butter Patty region.”
The second-best selling cookie is the organization’s oldest — the Thin Mint.
Girl Scouts are now accepting orders for cookie deliveries, which will take place throughout the month of January. Door-to-door sales, as well as manned booths at public places such as Wal-Mart Supercenters, will take place in February. Cookie season wraps up March 10.
Did you know?
Last year, 71,000 boxes of cookies were sold in Jasper County. This year, the Scouts are on track to sell 77,000 boxes. Prices are still $4 per box, the same as the past five years.