Cookie Wars: Wal-Mart vs. Girl Scouts

Wal-Mart has developed a reputation for threatening several American treasures: mom and pop retail stores, independent pharmacies, and small town grocery stores. Now, some people believe it is targeting another All-American icon: the Girl Scouts. Wal-Mart has introduced cookie items in its Great Value line with amazing similarity to Girl Scout mainstays Thin Mint and Tagalongs. According to a post on the blog Authentic Organizations , Wal-Mart is hurting the Girl Scouts by selling "fake" Girl Scout cookies. The taste and texture are similar, too similar, to Thin Mint and Tagalongs, says blogger CV Harquail.

Before labeling Wal-Mart as evil (again), consider the situation more closely. Girl Scout cookies are sold for 1-2 months out of the year, leaving a void of 11-12 months. If Wal-Mart's products are intended to be like Girl Scout cookies, is Wal-Mart perhaps filling an unmet need? Quality is also an issue. If the knock-off versions of the cookies do not pass the taste test with consumers, the products will not be successful. Most importantly, a stark contrast exists between the mission of Wal-Mart and the Girl Scouts. People will continue to buy cookies to support the Girl Scout cause. Cookie sales are a Girl Scout tradition, and no imitation product can match the Girl Scout marketing combination of great taste, worthy cause, and massive sales network.

One could even argue that competition is a good thing; it should keep the minds behind Girl Scout cookies thinking about how to be innovative and make a long running tradition even better!

Ad Age - "Mom Accuses Walmart of Going After Girl Scouts"

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