Pocky (ポッキー) is a sweet Japanese treat that consists of a biscuit stick covered with a type of chocolate or cream. Pocky got its name from the Japanese onomatopoetic phrase pokkin-pokkin (ポッキンポッキン), the snapping sound made when the biscuit snapped. Pocky is cleverly designed with a “handle” that you can eat; instead of covering the entire biscuit stick in the chocolate, a small portion is left dry at the bottom: the perfect size to hold onto as you’re snacking away!
Glico first released chocolate Pocky in 1966. Due to the huge success of the chocolate Pocky, Almond Pocky was released five years later in 1971, closely followed by Strawberry Pocky in 1977. Over time, Pocky grew more and more popular, which led to its availability all over the world! As Pocky became popular in other countries, it even gained its own names in different countries. Pocky in England is called “Mikado” and people in Malaysia eat “Rocky.”
November the 11th (11/11) is known as Pocky Day, because the multiple number ones resemble Pocky sticks. Glico holds a customer appreciation day on this special day. There are many events by Glico and at stores on Pocky Day, and it has even been officially certified by the Japan Anniversary Association as a commemorative day.
Pocky has added many flavors to its basic chocolate, strawberry, and almond collection such as milk, cookies and cream, almond crush, and mint, among many others. There are also seasonal Pocky flavors, which are only available during certain times during the year. Some of the seasonal Pocky flavors include tropical flavors, like mango and pineapple, for summer; pumpkin and cocoa powder during autumn, murasaki imo (紫いも) okinawa sweet potatoes and Fuyuno Kuchidoke (冬の口溶け), literally meaning “melts in your mouth of winter” during the wintertime; and honey flavor for spring. There are also regional flavors which are only sold in certain parts of Japan. Regional flavors include Kobe wine in Kobe, Kyoto tea and azuki bean in Kyoto, grape in Nagano, and giant mandarin orange in Kyushu.
The variations of Pocky don’t stop at flavors, either; there are also different types of sizes, looks, and textures of Pocky. Midi Pocky is Pocky made mini but with a burst of flavor because, even though it’s shorter, there’s even more chocolate cream and a thicker biscuit stick than in the full sized Pocky; it’s a lot of flavor packed into a small package. Mousse Pocky is another type of Pocky that changes up the type of cream on the biscuit, giving the snack an airy type of flavored mousse on the end of the stick. Deco Pocky doesn’t change the type of cream on the Pocky, but instead it has a second flavor of cream drizzled over the top of the Pocky in order to give it even more flavor and a cute design, a lot like a decorated cake. Pocky also has a line called “Dessert Pocky” which has both types of variations. These flavors include double chocolate, tirimisu, and strawberry shortcake, but the dessert Pocky is also covered in twice the amount of cream! There’s even a Giant Pocky, which is – as the name suggests – regular Pocky that’s over five times the size of the original!
At Asahi, our standard flavors of Pocky are strawberry (including tsubu, or “coarse”, strawberry, which has bits of fruit added to the cream), chocolate, and almond. We always have different seasonal flavors, as well. It’s always fun checking out the new varieties of Pocky, or as the Pocky slogan goes: “Stick to Fun!”