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Is Wal-Mart Trying to Price Out the Girl Scouts?

girlscoutsThat a mom blogger is taking issue with something Wal-Mart has been up to is usually no big surprise. But C.V. Harquail is getting special attention for her case against the Arkansas based box store.

She says the biggest chain on earth is striking out at the sweetest little girls on earth: the Scouts.

Specifically, Harquail says Wal-Mart’s newest addition to its Great Value brand includes cookies that fall precariously close to the goodies that make us all pull out our wallets and pack on the pounds each and every March just so we don’t have to say no to the perky little face on our doorstep.

The knock-offs of Thin Mints and Tagalongs are apparently slated to hit shelves nationwide soon, and Harquail says they’re going to represent real competition for the Scouts. “Because the cookies are ‘reasonable facsimiles’ of the authentic Girl Scout cookies (I sampled them myself at BlogHer ‘09 last week) and are being sold at an everyday low price, these cookies are poised to snatch cookie sales right out of the hands of the Girl Scouts themselves,” she noted in her blog.

Let’s back up here a moment. Wal-Mart is no friend of mine (have you seen the Wal-Mart movie?), but I’m going to direct you to the cookie aisle in any grocery store in the country. Pass the Nabisco and the Archway and head straight for the Keebler section. Found it? Now pick up the Fudge Shoppe Grasshoppers. Pay for them and head home. Stick them in the freezer for an hour. Take them out, and . . . taste the Thin Mint, er, minty chocolate wafer.

The same EXACT cookie? Nope, but scores of Girl Scout cookie devotees make do with the mass-produced variety in the months when the little door-knockers are scarce. And yet when the girls come a’ knockin’, we thumb our nose at the elves in favor of “those sweet girls raising money.”

No one is arguing that the world needs more fattening food, or that Girl Scouts shouldn’t get the edge when we’re choosing where to spend our dollars. I don’t even like the Tagalongs or the Samoas, but part of the mystique of the Girl Scout cookie sales is the kid-faced salespeople. I still pony up (and leave them on the community table at my office). I’ll choose kid over corporation any day.

They’ve already got a monopoly on cute to sell their cookies. Do they deserve a monopoly on flavor?

Image: Girl Scouts

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