Girl Guide biscuits won't be sold after next year because the fundraiser has become too much of a commitment and burden on the girls, the organisation says.
Chief executive of GirlGuiding New Zealand, Susan Coleman, said the decision to stop the sales was made so members and volunteers could focus more on the organisation's core purpose and programmes.
"We've become very aware in the past few years that the sale of Guide biscuits has created a barrier for some girls joining the organisation and has been a barrier for girls staying in the organisation, because of the commitment that was needed from our families, parents, girls and volunteers to actually sell the biscuits on our behalf," Coleman said.
Attracting and retaining volunteers was also a big issue, not helped by the huge amount of time unit leaders had to put in to coordinating biscuit sales every year.
"When volunteers come in, they want to be involved in our programme as opposed to spending an awful lot of time selling and organising the biscuits," Coleman said.
Celebrity cook Jo Seagar said it was a terrible shame the quintessential Kiwi biscuits were being discontinued.
"I used to be a Girl Guide and I spent many years selling the biscuits when I was growing up in Hawke's Bay, it was a big fundraising thing and the biscuits were a part of the fun," she said.
Seagar said she had fond memories of her mother buying the biscuits in bulk and then turning them into fudges and cheesecakes.
She was doubtful the Guides would be able to find a fundraiser as successful and popular as the biscuits.
"Making that much money off the biscuits, how will you get better than that? Good luck to them, it's a lot of money."
Wendy Harris, mother to one former Girl Guide and one current Girl Guide, was also sad to hear the biscuits would no longer be sold.
"The girls learned a lot about selling things and money handling and it was quite nice getting out into the public and meeting people," Harris said.
Her daughter's unit had to do at least two biscuit stalls every year.
"Plus they sell them per unit and families sell them as well - to workmates and that sort of thing."
Harris said while the girls put in a lot of time, the organisers put in a 'phenomenal' amount. "The organisers fill their garages with Girl Guide biscuits every season, then have all the families turning up at their houses to get the biscuits, they keep track of the money, then every weekend running around biscuit stalls to make sure everything is going to plan," Harris said.
"While it has been a great fundraiser, it has also created barriers to our future and to our success," Coleman said.
Coleman said it had been agreed that the organisation would need to cover off the shortfall.
She said no replacement fundraiser had been mooted yet, but the organisation planned to sell some of its property and streamline services ie moving leader training online.
Coleman said it had been interesting observing the public fallout, particularly on social media, after it was announced that Girl Guide biscuits would no longer be sold.
"People have often seen our purpose as selling biscuits, certainly the purpose of selling biscuits is to fundraise, for us to focus around girls and young women, but it wasn't our reason for being," she said.
"We certainly do need funding but we are confident that we can fundraise in other ways."