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Girl Guide cookie prices rise 20% as inflation bites

It's the first price hike in more than a decade

The cost of a box of Girl Guide cookies is rising as the non-profit organization faces higher baking and shipping expenses.
The cost of a box of Girl Guide cookies is rising as the non-profit organization faces higher baking and shipping expenses. (Girl Guides of Canada)

Getting your hands on a box (or three) of Girl Guide cookies is going to cost a little more starting this month.

Girl Guides of Canada says the price of a box of its classic chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies is going up to $6, an increase of $1, to cover the rising cost of food ingredients and shipping.

The price hike, which is the first in more than 10 years, is already in effect in B.C. and will be coming to the rest of Canada in the weeks ahead.

But one retail analyst says the higher price likely won't harm sales.

"People know it's for a good charity. It's certainly not going to be a problem. Having said that, some people may choose not to buy them this year because times are very tough, but most people will," Bruce Winder, a retail analyst and author, told Yahoo Finance Canada.

He says Canadians are now "conditioned" to expect price increases, especially for food.

He adds that Girl Guide cookies are generally a "price inelastic" item, meaning the price can change but it won't have a major impact on sales, since the money supports the non-profit organization.

"All the anger that everyone feels towards the grocers right now – there's going to be zero anger towards the poor girl guide initiative because they're non-profit, and everyone knows that food has gone up," Winder said.

"If they came out of nowhere and started increasing the prices significantly while the rest of food products were flat, then people would ask questions and there'd be some pushback. But like I said, we're conditioned to it now. We've come to expect it."

According to the website, one case of cookies (12 boxes) costs $72. The general breakdown of where the money goes is as follows: $21.75 goes to cookie manufacturer Dare, $12 goes to shipping, $4.75 goes to national Girl Guide initiatives and the remaining $33.50 is distributed to local groups in each province.

Selling cookies has been a long-standing tradition in Canada. The first cookies were sold in 1927 when a Regina Girl Guide leader baked and sold the treats to raise money, the website says. Currently, millions of boxes are sold nationwide each year.

Michelle Zadikian is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @m_zadikian.

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