Our pack had an AWESOME Cub Scout popcorn sale this year! Our total was $17,893 which was a 75% increase over last year’s total of $10,146!
Now, I know that the first thing I always ask when I hear popcorn numbers is, “How many boys are in your pack?” We have 32 boys in our pack, but not all of them sold popcorn.
I wish I knew the secret of how we increased our sales so much this year, but frankly, I don’t. But here are some things that I think contributed to the increase.
1. AWESOME Popcorn Kernel!
We are so lucky to have Janelle as our great popcorn kernel! This is her second year of doing the job, and both years she’s done a fabulous job. She’s enthusiastic, organized and dedicated. She has implemented quite a few new things for our sale over the last two years, and I’ll list those out separately. We owe her and her husband, David, a huge thank you!
2. Multiple “Show & Sells”
Janelle arranged for us to have show & sells at Kroger (a grocery store chain), a local Ace hardware store and Lowe’s. She limited the number of boys who could sign up for each shift, but she made sure there were enough dates and locations for everyone to participate if they wanted to. Janelle also made sure that we had plenty of popcorn to sell.
Last year, we set up a Square account so that we could take credit and debit cards at our show & sells. I knew that we would definitely use it, but I never thought it would actually save sales. When folks would tell us they didn’t have any cash, the boys would say, “We take credit cards!” I was really shocked by the number of people who walked back to the table to buy popcorn!
I’m not sure if the other boys did this, but I had to explain to Grant that it was ok to say that when someone said they didn’t have cash, but it was not ok to say that if they told us they couldn’t afford it.
3. Goal Kits
The goal for each boy was $250. In addition to other prizes, their spring dues are waived if they met their goal. Janelle created goal kits, which was an assortment of popcorn products that were just over $250 in value. Families could check out the goal kit and sell around their neighborhood. There was no obligation, so the family could return whatever they didn’t sell. And they could always get more products too!
4. Great prizes!
Rather than using the prize program that Trails End offered, Janelle decided to create her own. She, David and their two sons visited stores and decided what to include. For each sales level, she had four or five prize options. The boys could also choose a gift card.
This was a lot of work for her, but because she knows our boys, Janelle was able to pick prizes that would incent them. Having a gift card option at every level and allowing the boys to pick the store also encouraged them.
Oh, letting them throw pies in the adults’ faces was a pretty good incentive too! 🙂
5. Mystery Houses
This year, our council tried something new, and I believe it helped our sales! We had mystery houses. One hundred homes in our council were asked to participate as a mystery house. The houses were each given a gift card. The retailers and monetary denominations varied. I believe that each district was given a certain number of cards based on the number of Scouts in that district.
Every Monday, a clue to the whereabouts of the houses would be published on the Council website. Whenever a boy figured out the location, he would go to the house to sell popcorn. If he wore his uniform and asked for the sale politely, he would be given the gift card! The website would be updated to show that the card had been given out. Some of the houses were discovered right away while others weren’t found until the very last clue which listed the actual address.
This was really fun! I know it definitely motivated the boys in our pack! Five of our boys found a mystery house.
Our pack usually helps at the PTO’s “Popsicles on the Patio” event which is held the night before school starts. We can’t have an official recruitment table, but we can pass out flyers and talk to people. This year, we met a family who had just moved to the area. The mom told us that her son sold $5,000 worth of popcorn for their former pack.
Now, my son Grant has been our pack’s top seller the last two years. He sold about $700 last year. So, when we heard $5,000, our Cubmaster looked at me and said, “He’s going to give your son a run for his money.” When I shared that comment with Grant, his response was, “It’s on!!”
There were several other friendly rivalries going on too! I was so impressed with our boys. Even though they were competing, it wasn’t mean-spirited at all! They definitely remembered that “A Scout is Kind.”
I would love to hear what has helped you with your popcorn sale!
Yours in Scouting,