Everything You Need to Know About Pocky
Japanese Pocky is a cultural and culinary phenomenon that transcends borders. Manufactured by the food company Glico, Pocky has come a long way since its creation in 1966, now boasting a plethora of flavors beyond the original chocolate. These tasty chocolate-dipped biscuit sticks offer a treat that's both delicious and convenient!
Fun Pocky traditions like "Pocky Day" and the playful "Pocky Game," have contributed to its immense popularity in Japan and around the globe. Not only does Pocky have fun commercials and campaigns, but it also makes appearances in anime, movies, and games. Its unique combination of taste, convenience, and shareability make Pocky an addictive and distinctive snack.
- Japanese Name: ポッキ (pronounced Pokki)
- Flavors: More than 50
- Fun fact: Pocky actually holds a Guinness World Record as the World’s Best Selling Chocolate-coated biscuit brand!
WHAT IS POCKY?
Imagine a tasty biscuit stick. Now, imagine the stick dipped into silky smooth chocolate. Simple but ingenious, that's Pocky! These biscuit sticks, partially coated with chocolate (or other flavors), have stolen hearts both in Japan and abroad. An iconic treat, Pocky often appears in Japanese pop culture!
"Pocky" was derived from the Japanese onomatopoeia "pokkiri," representing the crisp sound made when you bite into these delicious biscuit sticks. One thing’s for sure, Glico hit a home run with this fun, catchy name!
IS POCKY A JAPANESE BRAND?
Yes, Pocky was made by the Japanese! Inspired by Kushikatsu, a Japanese skewered pork dish, Yoshiako Koma created the chocolate-dipped snack for Glico. This food company is an icon in Japan. Aside from Japanese Pocky, it’s also known for a ton of tasty products including Collon, Pretz Pejoy, Alfie, and more.
WHAT WAS POCKY'S ORIGINAL NAME?
Pocky was created in 1966, three years after Glico made its savory older brother Pretz. Back then, Pocky was named Chocotec because it was “chocolate that you could eat while walking. Unfortunately, the name belonged to someone else, and so Glico decided on Pocky instead. In our opinion, Pocky is a way better name!
In 1971, Glico created the iconic almond coated-variant that also flew out of shelves. Five years after came strawberry. This began an epic saga of flavor innovation that continues to this day with so many different flavors and variants!
THE MAKING OF POCKY
How does a simple stick turn into a sensation? Pocky's ingredients are simple but effective: a biscuit stick made from flour, sugar, and shortening. The biscuit stick is baked first, then coated with the flavor of choice. The end of the stick is left uncoated, making Japanese Pocky a snack you can enjoy without worrying about sticky fingers. It’s absolutely genius, wouldn’t you agree?
WHY IS POCKY SO ADDICTIVE?
Ever wondered why Pocky is so addictive? It's the perfect combination of crunch and sweetness, the wide variety of flavors, and the fun of eating it. Plus, there's the whole "can't stop at one" phenomenon. Once you start munching on these delightful sticks, good luck putting them down!
IS POCKY VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN?
Not all Pocky flavors are vegan or vegetarian-friendly, as some contain milk products or other animal-derived ingredients. However, some Pocky flavors like the original chocolate might be suitable for vegetarians. Always check the packaging to make sure for yourself!
WHICH FLAVOR OF POCKY IS THE BEST?
It’s hard to decide. Pocky has a rainbow of options to choose from! Nearly fifty of them! There's the classic chocolate, of course, but also matcha, almond crush, choco banana, and even unique seasonal flavors like sakura & sakura almond for spring. If you're an adventurous snack lover, Pocky will never bore you! You can check out all the different Pocky flavors there is to find in our article, Discover All the Pocky Flavors!
GIANT POCKY & DREAM POCKY
Sometimes, regular Japanese Pocky isn’t enough to satiate big cravings. That’s why Glico made Giant Pocky for all the die-hard Pocky fans. These oversized chocolate-covered biscuit sticks are 7 inches long (that’s 2 inches longer than regular ones). They’re also thicker than regular Pocky too!
That’s not all. For those in search of big, oversized, colorful Pocky, there’s also Giant Dream Pocky. A box of these wondrously large Pocky sticks have five different flavors to enjoy: chocolate, matcha, mashed strawberry, grape, and melon. It’s a colorful mix that you can try to eat all at once or enjoy with friends.
WHEN IS POCKY DAY?
In Japan, Pocky is not just a snack; it's a cultural phenomenon. The 11th of November is celebrated as "Pocky Day," thanks to a clever pun: the date, written as 11.11, resembles four Pocky sticks. It’s an official Japanese special day recognized by the Japan Anniversary Association!
There’s a lot of fun on Pocky Day! Glico hosts challenges like the World Photo Challenge in 2015 where the company asked Pocky fans to share photos of themselves having Pocky so they could win the "Largest Online Photo Montage of Cookies/Biscuits” on the Guinness. The company also gives free Pocky samplings and they hold fun Pocky games around Japan during 11.11 Pocky day!
WHY IS POCKY SO POPULAR IN JAPAN?
Pocky is loved in Japan because one, it’s easy to eat, and two, it’s an iconic treat that can be found everywhere. This goody can be found konbinis (convenience stores), local supermarkets, vending machines, you name it. Pocky’s also extremely popular outside Japan too! It's become a gateway Japanese snack, often introducing people from the West to the broader world of treats from the East.
POCKY AROUND THE WORLD
Pocky sometimes has different names in different places. For the longest time, Pocky was branded as Rocky in Malaysia until it was rebranded to Pocky with a new look and a new slogan. Pocky in Thailand is made with chocolate with a higher melting point than normal as the country is warmer in Japan. In Europe, Pocky is made with 100 % cacao and is being sold under the name in Mikado. Meanwhile, In Turkey, Pocky has two different names - Biskrem Bi'stik and Biscolata Stix.
Pocky Isn’t just for children. Even adults can enjoy this tasty treat too. There are many different variations of Japanese Pocky made especially for mature consumers like the Pocky Bitter for Men, Pocky Otona no Kohaku (a whisky-infused variant), and Pocky Megami Ruby (a Pocky made to go along with a nice glass of wine).
HOW TO PLAY THE POCKY GAME!
The Pocky game is a playful, often romantic activity where two people start eating a Pocky stick from both ends, aiming to be the last one holding the stick. Sometimes, the two end up kissing. It's a favorite in Japanese dramas and anime, adding a little romantic spice to any story. This fun, cute little game adds to Pocky’s magic!
FALL IN LOVE WITH POCKY
Single Pocky fans don’t need to worry about getting a partner for the Pocky game - Glico is serving up cute anime boyfriends with their Pocky sticks! In 2021 the company launched the Love with Pocky campaign in collaboration with Sanrio’s ikemen (hot guy) anime series “Sanrio Danshi.” With the campaign came virtual boyfriends on every box of special Japanese Pocky.
Pocky has a lot of collaborations! Some of the most notable ones in the kawaii world are Pocky’s team-ups with cuties like Hello Kitty and Rilakkuma. It also collaborates with international restaurants like the Singaporean JUMBO Seafood (the result of the team-up was a special limited-edition chilli crab-flavored Pocky).
Did you know that Pocky also partnered with Street Fighter? That’s right! Glico worked together with Capcom to create the Pocky KO challenge and the limited release of Street Fighter V: Pocky EDITION. To commemorate the collab, Glico also released Street-fighter themed Pocky boxes for fans.
WHERE CAN I BUY POCKY?
Common flavors like classic chocolate, strawberry, and crushed almond can be found in Konbini (convenience stores) in Japan. In America, they can be found in Asian marketplaces. The strange and uncommon flavors like charred milk, golden butter, and sakura almond are harder to find though. If you’d like to try them out you can check out our exciting Pocky collection!
So, that’s about everything you need to know about Japanese Pocky. Whether you're a lifelong Pocky fan or a curious newcomer, one thing's for sure: this delightful Japanese treat offers more than just a quick snack. It's a taste adventure, a cultural phenomenon, and a fun journey all wrapped up in one chocolate-dipped stick.
What’s your favorite Japanese Pocky flavor? Which one do you want to try? Feel free to let us know how you feel about Pocky in the comment section below. You can also read more about all the different flavors of Pocky in our companion piece, Discover All the Pocky Flavors!
My grandson loves them