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blondebombshell

Girl Scout Cookies

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Now, what would be ideal is if an existing baker of gluten-free products could contract to make a gluten-free GS cookie.

This would be a great solution! :)

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My daughter is a scout and has Celiac. Needless to say, she hates the cookie activity.

Anyway, in the spirit of awareness, I sent GS main office an email about the possibility of a gluten-free GS cookie in the future. This was the response from them:

In the best of all worlds we would be able to address everyone's needs; however the Girl Scout cookie products are driven by what sells to the public. Currently neither of our companies offers gluten free cookies for the general markets-- the product seems to be a nitch market (as you probably well know). Each company has developed a cookie that addresses caloric concerns (a sugarless LBB chocolate chip and a portion control pack by ABC) and has addressed concerns about transfats in the past. At this point, we do not have plans to develop a gluten free cookie.

Although its hard, I would encourage your daughter to participate in the cookie activity to learn about selling and to support her troop and council. Others can eat the cookies and she may be able to eat the nuts and other products that are on sale in the fall. Work with her troop to educate them about gluten free needs, and snacks that are healthy for all of the girls at meetings. This might also be necessary at camping events as well. I volunteer for an organization that works to raise money and educate folks about intestinal diseases, so I know the issues your daughter is facing.

Thank you for writing and sharing your concerns.

Since my BS meter goes off very easily, this was my response...

Thank you so much for your response. We work with the troop and local camps to ensure my daughter has a safe, gluten-free GS experience.

However, if no one ever expresses a need/desire for a gluten-free cookie then it is likely never to come to fruition, which is my responsibility as the parent of a Celiac sufferer to continually raise awareness and opportunity for those eating a gluten-free diet. As many as 1 in 133 people cannot eat gluten, which is hardly a "niche" but more of an untapped resource.

In fact, there are more people with Celiac Disease than there are with diagnosed diabetes. It is estimated as of 2005 approximately 210,797 people were diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). With a US population of 301,139,947 and estimated that 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease. That means 226,421 people in the US who cannot consume gluten. Additionally, many sufferers of Type 1 diabetes also suffer from Celiac Disease which is the inability to digest wheat, barley, oats or rye, so even a portion of those people to whom the sugar-free cookies are targeted, cannot eat them. So, it seems to me, creating a sugar-free cookie is also a "niche" but one with better PR. Far more people are aware of diabetes than celiac disease, so it makes sense on the surface that a sugar free cookie is mainstream while a gluten-free cookie is not. It is only in the last few years any kind of publicity has been given to those following a gluten-free diet.

I would encourage Girl Scouts to not dismiss the gluten-free opportunity, even if now is not the right time to continue the pursuit. While it is not likely one would be developed while my daughter is still in scouts, I think you will see, over time, it will become a necessity.

While I don't have and never have had any one of my 4 daughters in G.S. I did buy their cookies before going gluten free. I hope your daughter does well in selling these. I love your response to them. Not that it will make any difference in what they do or sell, but they have now heard it.

Grump

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