AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Girl Scouts cookie season.

In mid-January, Girl Scouts throughout the Central Texas area began their annual entrepreneurial task of selling cookies. The Girl Scout Cookie Program runs through the end of February, with between two-and-a-half and three-million cookie packages expected to be sold, said Paula Bookidis, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

“We already have distributed almost two million boxes that are out in the hands of Girl Scouts selling,” she said. “And then, they have the opportunity to reorder as their season goes on and as their businesses progress.”

Last year, GSCTX sold 2.7 million packages of cookies. The funds raised go toward the troops themselves, funding community impact projects for scouts and financing GSCTX-run programs, including summer camps and STEM programming.

“The cookie program itself is an entrepreneurship program,” Bookidis said. “So girls have learned all these skills about selling — people skills, business ethics, planning, forecasting, etc. And it’s such a cool way because they’re given a product that has built-in demand and they get to build the whole rest of their business around it.”

And that built-in demand has only grown as Central Texas’ population has continued to soar, she added. When GSCTX tries to anticipate the number of cookies sold, they consider two factors: cookie demand and the number of scouts available to sell them.

“So through COVID, we’ve had fewer Girl Scouts than we did before. There are fewer Girl Scouts selling,” Bookidis said. “What’s amazing is that the demand of folks in the area has maintained, really, that same number of cookies that we’ve been selling. And so, per girl, they’re selling more, which really means more money that goes directly to them and their troops for the things that want to do with community service and travel.”

Girls have learned all these skills about selling — people skills, business ethics, planning, forecasting, etc. And it’s such a cool way because they’re given a product that has built-in demand and they get to build the whole rest of their business around it.”

Paula Bookidis, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

But does that demand translate into some cookies that are more popular than others? Absolutely, she said.

Central Texas is on par with the rest of the United States, with Thin Mints the most popular cookie offered. But the south, and Central Texas, strays in its second-string, with the Caramel deLites the runner up.

However, a new cookie has joined the ranks this 2023 season, with the Raspberry Rally now available online.

And for those who don’t know a local scout, fear not, Bookidis said: GSCTX has a Girl Scout booth finder tool online to find scouts selling cookies nearby. Scouts can also take payments online and deliver the cookies directly to customers’ homes.

“We’re just so grateful to Central Texans for continuing to support Girl Scouts through cookies,” she said. “[Girl Scouts] is the largest investment in girls in the world, and so we’re just so fortunate to have had the support of all of our community members in eating cookies.”