For many places around the country, it's Girl Scout Cookie season – time to break out the Samoas and Tagalongs.

Or, are they Caramel deLites and Peanut Butter Patties?

Depending on where you live, your local Girl Scouts may be using different bakeries, meaning the cookies you're buying at your grocery store could be different from the ones your family is getting back home.


There are more than 100 Girl Scout councils across the United States, with many states having multiple councils. Each council determines which bakery it wants to license with – ABC Bakers or Little Brownie Bakers.

"A cookie may be called Trefoils when baked by one baker and Shortbread when baked by the other. The two cookies look and taste similar, but the name of the cookie and the recipe may be different," the Girl Scouts say on their website. 

So what bakers make what Girl Scout cookies?

Little Brownie Bakers is based in Louisville, Kentucky. They make Samoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Lemon-Ups and Toffee-tastic. 

Lemon-Ups, "a crispy lemon cookie baked with messages inspired by Girl Scout entrepreneurs," are a new cookie for the 2020 season, the Girl Scouts say. They replace the Savannah Smiles and accompany the Lemonades, made by ABC Bakers.

ABC Bakers is based in Richmond, Virginia. They make Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread, Lemonades, Caramel Chocolate Chip and Thanks-A-Lot.

Both make Thin Mints and Girl Scout S’mores, though their recipes are different.

So why the difference? As Cassie Sterwald, communications director for the Girl Scouts of Manitou in Wisconsin, puts it:

"Two years ago, we did a months-long study with a task group where we reviewed just about everything with the different vendors and their success rate," she said. "They decided to go with Little Brownie Bakers."

Here's a look at the comparison of each cookie, side by side:

(Photos: Enrique Rodriguez composite/Girl Scouts of the USA)








How much are Girl Scout cookies?

Like the names of the cookies you get, how much they cost also vary by region.

Each local council sets their own price "based on its needs and knowledge of the local market," the Girl Scouts say.

How do I buy Girl Scout cookies?

Check with your local council to find out where they are being sold near you. You can search by zip code on the Girl Scouts website.

The Girl Scouts also have an app to search for cookies. You may also be able to buy cookies online from a Girl Scout you know through the Digital Cookie platform.

The cookie season for local councils last about a six- to eight-weeks per year. Most occur between January and April, but some are as early as September.

Contributing: Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Follow USA TODAY's Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller