Girl Scout cookie lovers accustomed to seeing items like peanut butter, chocolate, coconut and more chocolate on the ingredient list may do a double take when they see the newest cookie on the order form.
Alongside Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas in this year’s Girl Scout cookie repertoire are Mango Crèmes, a crispy cookie featuring mango, coconut, vanilla and Nutrifusion™? Yes, Girl Scout cookies have been vitamin-punched.
The Mango Crèmes are the first cookie in the Girl Scouts’ long history to be partnered with NutriFusion™, the makers of a product that “supercharges” foods’ nutritional value by adding preserved all-natural nutrients, according to the company’s website.
ABC Bakers, the “official Girl Scout Cookie Bakers,” says in a description of the new cookie on its website that the cookies, “feature a mango-flavored creme filling with all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries!”
The marketing of the product has led to some controversy online where a writer for Gawker said young Girl Scouts should be told they are “selling a lie,” and one blogger for LAist.com mocked the cookie’s tag line by saying, “So go ahead and eat that cookie: it’s like you’re having a fruit salad.”
NutriFusion™ denies any claims that eating Mango Crèmes would be an appropriate substitute for getting one’s daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
“Girl Scout cookies come under criticism because it’s basically sugar and flour,” NutriFusion™ president William Grand told ABCNews.com. “By adding our ingredient they have the ability to add the nutrition of fruits and vegetables into the cookie and that’s important.”
“People aren’t going to stop eating cookies, but because of the processing done by the food industry we can actually put some of the nutrition back in and provide a healthier alternative to the consumer,” Grand said of the product, formulated by removing the moisture from freeze-dried, macerated fruits and vegetables and then grinding them into a powder.
Though the NutriFusion™ in the Mango Cremes will give you, according to ABC Bakers, 15 percent of your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin B1 and 5 percent RDI of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 per three-cookie serving, a cookie is still a cookie.
That same three-cookie serving of Mango Crèmes also contains 180 calories and four grams of saturated fat, more calories than four Thin Mints and the same amount of saturated fat as Tagalongs.
“Our product does not replace people eating fruits and vegetables but it provides an alternative, especially for people who are continuing to indulge in their favorite snack foods,” said Grand. “That’s a plus.”
ABC Bakers said in a statement the decision to add the more nutrition-friendly ingredient was “initiated by consumers wanting to eat great-tasting cookies that also have health benefits.” NutriFusion describes its product as one that can, “significantly increase the nutritional profile, and therefore the marketability, of food, beverage and snack products.”
The cookies, like all other Girl Scout cookies, are produced for a limited time once a year and are on sale now.
A representative for Girl Scouts did not immediately reply to a request for comment.