Jell-O Says 'Hello' To Girl Scout Cookies With New Pudding Cups


According to NPR, Girl Scouts of the USA sells about 200 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in a typical year.

The brand enjoys a distinct, nostalgic niche in popular consumer culture, with a history dating back generations. According to Girls Scouts of the USA, The Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma conducted the first known sale of home-baked cookies to raise funds in 1917. Sales of commercially made boxed cookies developed in the 1930s, with the “Girl Scout Cookies’ branding, and trefoil-shaped cookies, appearing on boxes for the first time in 1935 to raise funds for the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York, and the Girl Scout organization initiating the process of formalizing a licensing program with commercial bakers the following year.

It’s unsurprising, then, that large corporate partners have sought to leverage that brand equity, and Girls Scouts USA has expanded its licensing program in recent years. Brand partnership have included Dairy Queen, Dunkin’, Keebler, Skippy -- and even brands outside food and beverage, like Build A Bear Workshop K-Swiss, and a recent makeup collection partnership with Hard Candy.

The latest brand to partner with Girl Scout Cookies is another American brand with a long history. Kraft-owned Jell-O first launched in 1897, and introduced its instant pudding product around the time Girl Scout Cookies were formalizing sales of boxed cookies, according to “The New Jell-O Book of Surprises.”

This month, the brand released Jell-O Girl Scout Pudding Cups across retailers nationally,  in two varieties: Thin Mints and Coconut Caramel. According to a 2020 YouGov poll, those are the two most popular varieties of the cookies, with 24%, and 16%, respectively citing them as their favorites.

CPG Insider reached out to Jell-O brand manager Colleen Koubek to discuss the collaborative release.

CPG Insider: What led Jell-O and Girl Scout Cookies to pursue this type of partnership? Were there specific consumer demands or preferences the brands are seeking to address?

Colleen Koubek: The collaborative release of Jell-O Girl Scout Pudding Cups was driven by the goal of creating a new innovation that would delight consumers through the widespread popularity of Girl Scout Cookies, a treat enjoyed in households nationwide. Both brands recognized the opportunity to meet the growing demand for iconic flavors in a convenient, on-the-go format which combines popular Girl Scout Cookies flavors with the smooth taste of Jell-O pudding.

How did the idea for the collaborative release emerge? What went into developing it from concept to a final product? How did the brand decide on which cookie flavors to focus on for launch?

The idea to create Jello-O Girl Scout Pudding Cups evolved out of a desire to create a product to meet a growing consumer demand for new products delivering iconic flavors in convenient formats. The development process included creating a new format for Jell-O, which combined its smooth pudding with mixable cookie crumble toppings, ensuring the final product met consumer expectations for both brands. We decided to focus on Thin Mints and Coconut Caramel for the launch based on these varieties' popularity.

How is Jell-O marketing the product?

Jell-O is marketing the new release at various points throughout the year through channels including retail media, social media, and an influencer marketing campaign across Instagram and Pinterest.

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