Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies (Big Lots/Dollar Tree)

A box of Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies, available at Big Lots and Dollar Tree
Every bit as good as the "real" thing...

I’ve reviewed store brand Girl Scout cookies before (after learning they were even a thing at Aldi), but I’m of the opinion that you can never try too many; and that’s what brings us to this review of Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies. I’d actually bought these before, from Dollar Tree, so imagine my surprise when I saw them on the shelf at my local Big Lots...and for the same $1 price tag! I couldn’t say no, so into the cart they went.

I’m not going to waste too much time on the actual review, because there isn’t much to say: they’re virtually flawless imitations of the "real" thing, with a soft chocolate coating that melts in your mouth, and a soft cookie interior that does the same. There’s also a perfect balance between the mint and the chocolate, which prevents either one from overwhelming the other...it’s pretty much exactly identical to the name brand cookies people shell out $5 per box for.

So how do they taste so similar to the real thing? Well, the answer is quite easy: because both these, and actual Girl Scout Cookies, are made by divisions of the same company. I’ll make this as quick as possible, but I feel like this is a great, real-life example of how many private label companies work.

I was actually intrigued by a review left by someone on Dollar Tree’s website for this product, who claimed that “rumor had it, the same factory makes both cookies.” (I’m paraphrasing, but this is the point that person was trying to make). I decided to do a little digging of my own, and within five minutes had concrete proof that is, indeed, the case. (NOTE: If you were just interested in the review, you can leave now.)

The inner packaging of Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies, which consists of two foil wrappers full of cookies
The inner packaging, which consists of two foil sleeves full of cookies.

First things first: Girl Scout Cookies are actually manufactured by two different companies, according to their own website: ABC Bakers, and Little Brownie Bakers. The latter is owned by Kelloggs, and is based out of Louisville, KY; the former is owned by Weston Foods - a division of George Weston Limited, a Canadian company that also majority-owns over 2,000 Canadian grocery stores, markets, and drug stores across that country - and is based out of Brownsburg, IN.

At first glance, there seems to be no connecting link: Oven Baked clearly states that their product is manufactured in Virginia, by Interbake Foods, which is neither in Indiana, nor Kentucky. For a second, I thought I had easily proven that theory wrong...until I did a couple more minutes' worth of digging. That’s when I discovered that Interbake Foods’ home headquarters are also based in...wait for it...Brownsburg, IN, the same as ABC Bakers! (Further serving as “proof” to this theory: their email address is abcbakers@interbake.com). So while they aren’t technically made in the same factory - perhaps because of legalities - they are made by one of the same companies that produce Girl Scout Cookies, and presumably use the same exact recipe!

While this is just but one tiny example, it does give us an idea on how some other “name brand” companies operate, as they will often open up separate divisions specifically for their own private label products, which give the illusion that they are manufactured by different companies, when, in fact, they are merely branches of the very same company, using the same processes, ingredients, and recipes. Why would they do this? Throw on some different packaging, and voila! You have a “private label” product that can be sold for cheaper, yet with sales that also benefit the parent, “name brand” corporation. So now the question becomes: why wouldn’t they do this? Why let other companies knock their products off when they can knock their own products off and reap in even more profits, by playing both sides of the war? 

See why I have an interest in private label foods, and business in general? Oh, you’re asleep...guess not.

Overall: 10/10. These are pitch-perfect knockoffs of a popular flavor of fundraiser cookie, and available for a dollar at both Big Lots and Dollar Tree, blah blah blah. But the coolest part of this whole review is that these are manufactured by one of the same companies that manufacture Girl Scout Cookies! I don’t have time to summarize my findings down here, so you’ll either just have to take my word for it, or read through the above review for yourself. Moral of the story: buy four boxes of these, and if you feel guilty for not buying some from your coworkers’ niece, then make a $10 donation instead. You can feel good about donating to a cause, while secretly pocketing another $10 in savings over buying four boxes at their overinflated prices.

Comments

  1. Found them at the 99 cents store too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, I'm jealous...we don't have 99 Cents Only stores since they're only in four states that are all 1,000 miles away from me. I always wish they would expand farther east, but doesn't seem like that's in their corporate plans anytime soon.

      Thanks for letting us know!

      Delete

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