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Girl Scout Cookie package receives first facelift in 13 years

New package graphics showcase five financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills taught by the $790 million girl-led business.
New package design adorns all Girl Scout Cookies or the first time since 1999. Cartons feature a new look and a new purpose: to elevate the significance of the Girl Scout Cookie Program. The iconic Girl Scout Cookie package showcases the five lifelong financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills that the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

The decision to update the package came about in 2010 as part of an overall brand refresh in advance of the organization’s 100th anniversary on March 12, 2012. (Today there are 3.2 million girl and adult members.)

The package needed to be more contemporary to reflect the new brand identity and to embody the spirit of Girl Scouting, while showing customers how they can reconnect with the organization. Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) partnered with the New York office of Anthem Worldwide, the brand development division of Schawk Inc., to redesign the packaging to inspire consumers and engage them on the important role that Girl Scouts plays in girls’ lives.

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“We have more than 50 million cookie customers across the country, and the cookie box is the most tangible and powerful way for us to communicate directly with consumers,” says Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez. “So it’s no surprise that our new cookie package tells the story of the five skills girls learn from participating in the cookie program. We want people to know that with each purchase of Girl Scout Cookies, they are not just getting a delicious treat, they are helping girls to be future business leaders and to make a difference in their communities.”

After Anthem was selected from among many other firms, the team immersed itself in the brand’s heritage in order to understand what feelings key stakeholders at GSUSA and girl scouts nationwide had about the previous design. Anthem conducted qualitative research to explore how consumers currently perceive the organization, define visual equities for packaging, and assess how much the design could and should evolve. Its creative team developed a range of concepts to showcase the organization’s values in a meaningful and compelling way. Final concepts were validated with more than 600 consumers through qualitative and quantitative research nationwide.

To execute the final design concept, Anthem and GSUSA worked with Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer David Hume Kennerly to photograph Girl Scouts around the New York Metro area. Girls from Girl Scouts of Nassau County and Girl Scouts of Greater New York participated in the photo shoot.

The final package design captures moments that show the power of girls working together as they engage in activities like greening a park, volunteering at a soup kitchen, and traveling to Paris. In highlighting such activities, the new boxes defy the conventional understanding of what Girl Scouts do while staying true to the organization’s heritage through the inclusion of the Trefoil logo and educating the consumer on the five skills that girls develop through participation in the Cookie Program.

The Girl Scout Cookie package also features the GreenPalm logo, which speaks to the organizational commitment to addressing conservation and sustainability concerns related to Girl Scout Cookies. Specific details about the packaging were considered proprietary.

The Girl Scout Cookie season runs from October to May, with the majority of local cookie sales beginning in late January or early February. To find out when Girl Scout Cookies are available near you, go to www.girlscoutcookies.org 

“I cannot think of a better combination than having people learn what Girl Scouting does for girls while supporting our Movement through the Cookie Program,” said Chávez.

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