The Real Divide Between States Isn’t About Politics, It’s About Girl Scout Cookies

Forget red vs. blue states. It’s all about Peanut Butter Patties versus Tagalongs.

The Real Divide Between States Isn’t About Politics, It’s About Girl Scout Cookies
Top Photo: Flickr user Melissa Doroquez

As the 2016 presidential campaigns heat up, the country feels divided, and it turns out that’s because it is–by the Girl Scouts and their annual Girl Scouts Cookie Sales. Forget about red versus blue: the true delineation is yellow versus purple, at least according to this infographic by the Los Angeles Times, which reveals that half the country doesn’t get the same Girl Scout Cookies as the other half–even if those cookies have the same name.

See the full list and interactive graphic hereLos Angeles Times

Although a love of Girl Scout Cookies may seem ubiquitous, the cookies can be very different from state to state–or even county to county. That’s because half the Girl Scout Cookies in the country are baked by ABC Bakers, located in Richmond, Virginia. The other baker is located in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s called Little Brownie Bakers. These are the two baking syndicates that have cut America in twain with their thin-minted goodness.

Now, both bakers are contracted by the Girl Scouts to make up to eight varieties of cookies for local troops. Three are contractually obligated: a mint cookie (Thin Mints), a peanut butter sandwich cookie (Peanut Butter Sandwich, or Do-Si-Dos), and a shortbread cookie (Shortbread, or Trefoils). Due to popularity, both bakeries offer three other varieties of similar cookies: Caramel deLites or Samoas, Lemonade or Savannah Smiles, and Peanut Butter Patties, or Tagalongs.

Depending on where you live, the Girl Scout Cookies you get are very different. Some of the differences are broadcast by the different names of each genre of cookies: a Samoa is more caramel-y, coconut-y, and chocolatey than a Caramel deLite, for example. But even where the cookie name is the same, there are vast regional differences. A Thin Mint bought in Boston, for example, will be crunchier and more minty than one bought in New York.

If you’re wondering how your Girl Scout Cookies differ from their Girl Scout Cookies, you can see more here. Oh, and if this all seems confusing? Prepare to have your mind blown: There’s a third variety of Girl Scout Cookies–the kind sold year round by the Keebler elves.

About the author

John Brownlee is a design writer who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can email him at



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