Vegan Girl Scout cookies and how to get ‘em!

18 Feb

OMG! Vegan Girl Scout cookies!

Girl Scout cookies

At this time of year I always see lots of online posts from vegans saying, “What?! Girl Scout cookies are vegan?!” or “Did you know that Girl Scout cookies are vegan?!” and there’s lots of misinformation going around so I thought I’d clear things up.

It’s pretty simple, actually. The Girl Scouts divide up geographically into “councils.” A council is roughly a county, though in more rural areas a council can consist of multiple counties. There are two and only two baking companies nationwide that make Girl Scout cookies and the councils decide to buy from one or the other. The two different bakeries are Little Brownie and ABC Bakers. NONE of the Little Brownie cookies are vegan (they all contain milk — BOOOOOOO!!!!!) , so if your local council buys from Little Brownie you are out of luck, unless you’re willing to take a drive to a nearby council/county that uses ABC. You can call or tweet your local council and they will be happy to tell you which baker they get their cookies from. Once you’ve determined if your local council uses ABC, or if you’re going to have to drive to a nearby county, then you can plug in a zip code in the Girl Scout Cookie Finder and it will tell you where they are selling them. But be warned, this zip code finder has ALL locations in it, not just ABC ones.

ABC makes eight different varieties of Girl Scout cookies and four of them are vegan: the Thin Mints, the Peanut Butter Patties, the Lemonades, and the Thanks-A-Lot ones. They are even marked vegan on their website!

I live in Los Angeles. They use Little Brownie. (BOOOOOO!!!!!!) So every year I will drive to Orange County and find a place where they are selling cookies, usually at a table in front of a supermarket. Booth sales this year began on February 14 and they will go until March 9. You can use this amazing Orange County only zip code finder to find the closest vegan Girl Scout cookies to LA. Just plug in a zip code for a town close to L.A. like Seal Beach (90740) or Westminster (92683) and you’ll be on your way.

UPDATE #1:

I have some good news! @nicolegp, a vegan instagrammer, spoke with ABC’s customer service department which informed her that the sugar in the vegan cookies “is from sugar beets and does not use bone char in the refining process”!

UPDATE #2:

The company says that the new Cranberry Citrus Crisps are not vegan because one of the natural flavors is not vegan. So disregard the side note below since we now have the answer.

One side note: there is a new cookie that ABC is offering for the first time this year called Cranberry Citrus Crisps. They are NOT marked vegan, but none of the ingredients seem non-vegan. The info page for this cookie says, “This product is manufactured on equipment that processes products containing milk,” but so does the info page for the Peanut Butter Patties, which are marked vegan. If I had stumbled across these cranberry cookies in a store, and saw this ingredient list, I’d probably buy them. But maybe there’s something I’m missing.

Happy Cookieing!

5 Responses to “Vegan Girl Scout cookies and how to get ‘em!”

  1. Eve L. February 18, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    I’m wondering if the vegan-seeming-but-not-labeled-as-such one is not made with vegan sugar? And so that’s why they are not declared officially vegan? Or am I assuming too much by thinking that the overtly vegan ones even use vegan sugar in the first place?

    • insufferablevegan February 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      I have just updated the post to answer both of your questions! :)

      • Eve L. February 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

        Thanks so much for the update! Very interesting. I’m glad the vegan-labeled cookies are truly vegan. As for the other issue, I wonder if the “natural flavor” in those Cranberry Citrus Crisps might be the dreaded castoreum! Yecch. And now I’m wondering how many times I may have inadvertently ingested it (not through these particular cookies but in other processed products) . . .

        • insufferablevegan February 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

          I did some research on castoreum last year after someone left a nasty comment on a photo of some Dreyer’s ice pops that I posted, saying that they probably weren’t vegan because the “natural flavors” in the ingredients list most likely included castoreum. (I called Dreyer’s; it didn’t.) From what I saw, the use of castoreum is very rare these days, especially in widespread commercial production. That’s not to say it isn’t the reason they’re not vegan, but it seems unlikely to me.

          • evesfca March 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

            Hi. I just saw this. Thanks for the reply. I’m glad to hear castoreum probably isn’t in widespread use.

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