Learn the Savory Story of Pretz!
Pretz are savory Japanese bread sticks that pack a whole lot of crunch! These treats by Glico are available in an array of flavors from Salad, Tomato, and even more adventurous tastes like Butter Shrimp and Basil Chicken. Dusted in umami-licious seasonings, Pretz offers an exciting contrast to its sweet younger sibling, Pocky.
Like Pocky, Pretz has a pretty strong hold on pop culture with multiple collaborations and anime appearances. Not only do Japanese snackers enjoy Pretz straight out of the box, they also use these yummy breadsticks in fun recipes! Wow.
- Japanese name: プリッツ, (pronounced pu-ri-ttsu)
- Brand promise: Hello, Me Time!
- Number of Flavors: More than 70
- Fun Fact: Pretz was originally meant to be sweet!
WHAT ARE JAPANESE PRETZ SNACKS?
Think of crispy, ready-to-go breadsticks dusted in savory seasoning. That's what Pretz is all about! These tasty treats were inspired by the German Pretzel. Convenient, crunchy, and packed with so much flavor, Pretz has been tantalizing taste buds since its debut in 1963.
WHO MADE PRETZ?
That’s easy! Pretz was made by Glico, the Japanese snack company that’s been making yummy goodies since the 1950s. Did you know that Glico originally meant Pretz to be a sweet snack? Eventually, that honor went to Pretz’s sibling Pocky.
PRETZ-ING IN A RAINBOW OF FLAVORS
Unlike many Western snacks that stick to a limited flavor palette, Pretz leaps out of the box and soars into a kaleidoscope of flavors. That’s because the Japanese love unique flavors! Think of intriguing Pretz flavors like Roast (inspired by the flavors of a hearty roast dinner) and French Toast. There are also super adventurous tastes like Ebi Chili, Edamame, Asparagus, and more!
IS PRETZ THE SAME AS POCKY?
No, Pretz and Pocky aren’t the same. Though they have the same stick-like shape, Pocky is a sweet treat whereas Pretz is a savory snack that’s filled with umami. Essentially, if Pocky is the sugary hero of anime binge sessions, Pretz is the salty savior of late-night study crunches. And while Pocky sticks are dainty and delicate, Pretz is a touch heartier, giving a satisfying crunch in every bite!
PRETZ FOR ALL SEASONS
Like its sweeter sibling, Pocky, Pretz is made to cater to Japan’s seasonal cravings. In Japan, people love to eat shun - local, seasonal food. There is a time for everything in Japan, even food. That’s why Pretz has seasonal flavors like sweet potato in the fall and sakura in the spring!
SURPRISE, SWEET PRETZ EXISTS TOO!
Don't get it twisted – Pretz isn't just a savory treat. Some flavors do flirt with the sweet side too! That includes rare flavors like blueberry cheese, french toast, hachimitsu, and more. Who said that savory just had to be salty? Pretz occasionally tries to marry the best of both worlds.
PRETZ GOES GLOBAL!
Pretz isn’t just popular in Japan. It’s a snacking staple in a lot of other countries too! So much so that some places have their own special flavors. In Thailand, you have Pretz flavored like Tom Yum Kung and Larb. In Hong Kong there is Abalone Pretz and Shark’s Fin Pretz. Hawaiian Pineapple Pretz can only be found in Hawaii!
That’s just the beginning, of course. There’s a whole lot more international flavors that we’ll tackle in our upcoming post about Pretz Flavors. You can check it out in our blog post, the Ultimate List of Pretz Flavors
IS PRETZ VEGAN?
For our vegetarian and vegan friends, tread carefully. While some Pretz flavors are meat-free in taste, many contain milk, cheese, or other animal-derived ingredients, so they're not strictly vegetarian or vegan. Make sure to check those labels!
HOW DO YOU EAT PRETZ?
While enjoying Pretz straight from the packet is the norm, some fans love to get creative. They might be crumbled over salads for extra crunch, dipped in soups as an alternative to croutons, or even used in baking as a fun topping for cakes and cupcakes!
There are so many different fun recipes that you can try that incorporate crunchy Pretz. You can use it as an appetizer during parties, you can serve it along with meats and cheese in a charcuterie board, or you can present it with some yummy home-made dip!
Did you know that there are actually three sizes of Pretz? First is regular - this is the size that you often see in konbini and supermarkets. Then there’s Kid Size. A bit smaller than regular Pretz, these boxes usually feature a fun cartoon character! Last but not the least is Giant. Pretz has a Giant Size because sometimes, one regular box isn’t enough.
Pretz isn't content just being a tasty snack; it's also a pop culture powerhouse. It often collaborates with Japanese franchises and events, releasing themed boxes and special flavors that send fans into a frenzy. From game collaborations with big names like Final Fantasy, to partnerships with kawaii groups like the Sumikko Gurashi, and even team-ups with local Japanese baseball teams, Pretz is always making waves.
Pretz even collaborates with major anime series like One Piece! Teaming together, Pretz decided to release special boxes with secret One Piece drawing books inside them. The campaign also had a special lottery where the winner gets a special One Piece jigsaw puzzle!
That’s not all! Pretz also works together with big restaurants. In 2019, Pretz came up with the Chilli Crab flavor thanks to a collab with Jumbo Seafood. A year after that, Glico decided to strike a deal with Singaporean restaurant Wee Nam Kee for its special Hainanese Chicken Rice Pretz.
LET’S CELEBRATE PRETZ DAY!
While most people know 11.11 as Pocky day, this tasty date is actually reserved for both Pocky and its savory sibling, Pretz. Why? Because they both look just like the number one! The first Pocky and Pretz day was held in November 11, 1999 which is actually the eleventh year of the Japanese Heisei era 11/11/11. Glico holds fun campaigns and events every year just to celebrate Pocky and Pretz day!
That included having popular anime VTuber Ai Kizuna hosting 11.11 in 2019. A lot of VTubing fans certainly had a hoot when Kizuna decided to split herself into three to represent herself, Pocky, and Pretz all at the same time! It was the first time Glico ever asked a virtual YouTuber to host Pocky and Pretz day!
WHERE CAN I BUY PRETZ?
Wondering whether you need a plane ticket to Japan to satisfy your Pretz craving? Not really! With the boom in Japanese pop culture and increased global interest in its culinary delights, Pretz is making its presence known in international markets. They're now available in select Asian supermarkets, online retailers, and even some mainstream grocery chains across the globe! If you’re having trouble finding Pretz, you can check out our yummy Pretz collection in Japan Candy Store.
There you have it, folks – the captivating tale of Pretz, the stick-shaped sensation from Glico winning hearts and taste buds across Japan and beyond. The next time you crave a crunchy, flavorful snack, remember: Pretz is there to take you on a flavor adventure that's anything but ordinary. Happy snacking!
Have you ever tried Pretz before? What's your favorite savory Pretz flavor? How about the sweet flavors, have you ever given them a try? Don't be afraid to let us know in the comment section below.