Pocky® is a snack food that originated in Japan. Manufactured by the Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. — also known as simply “Glico," a confectionery business from Osaka — it is one of Glico’s most popular products. Generally, the treat is stick-shaped and made out of a pretzel-like biscuit. It comes in a plethora of flavors and is often coated in one or more toppings, such as chocolate. More sought after in countries such as Japan, China, and Thailand, it can also be found in North America at Asian supermarkets and various grocers in the international aisle.
The English pronunciation of the treat rhymes with “hockey,” though it’s often articulated differently in America and across the world. Originally sold under the name “Chocoteck,” Pocky® was first distributed in Japan in the min 1960s. Soon afterward, the name was changed to its current moniker, a word that when spoken, imitates the sound a mouth makes while chewing the snack. Today, the snack stick goes by a number of names across the world, including “Rocky” in Malaysia and “Mikado” in Europe.
Consumers often enjoy the slightly salty taste accompanied by the sweet coating. The first variety to be marketed was plain chocolate coated. Within a few years, almond and strawberry flavors were also being sold. Flavors have come and gone for decades; some have been discontinued, while some are still being marketed. Sweet milk flavored, dark and white chocolate dipped, coconut, and green tea are some of the popular flavors in existence. “Men’s Pocky®” — which is dipped in bittersweet chocolate — is another popular version of the snack, known as the “mature” version.
While Pocky® is eaten by all age groups, it was first popularized by teenagers. In North America, Pocky® often goes hand-in-hand with manga and anime — Japanese cartoons and comics. Fans of Japanese culture can often find Pocky® at conventions and other venues that sell Japanese media, such as book stores. Grocers, drugstores and department stores may also carry the snack. Bars in Japan often serve the snack accompanied by a glass of ice water.
Usually sold in a simple cardboard box, variations of the Japanese snack food exist in different countries. Thai Pocky®, for example, is also produced by Glico, though the taste is unlike the original. It is also cheaper in Thailand than the Japanese-produced version is in Japan. While various flavors of the chocolate covered pretzel sticks are available in North America, the Pocky® consumed by most Americans is Japanese-manufactured.