Is Mikado the same as Pocky?:
Mikado is created under license in Europe from Glico, the original manufacturers of Pocky. Mikado is the name that the Pocky made under this license in Europe (not in Japan), is sold as in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.
The official Glico website states: “Pocky is available under the “Mikado” brand* and loved throughout Europe”
So Mikado, is pretty much the same as Pocky – think of it as Pocky re-named or re-badged.
There are differences though. The products created as Mikado do not match the Pocky range exactly, and some of the chocolate mix used is slightly different, presumably to cater for the European palate and bring it closer to the chocolate tastes that Westerners are more used to.
You can still get Pocky in the UK, but only usually via import. If the box says ‘Pocky’ then it was made in Japan, if the box says ‘Mikado’ then it was made in Europe.
Mikado was released and marketed in the UK in 2009 by Kraft Foods, and can be found in most supermarkets and newsagents. It was launched with a £3 million marketing campaign, which included memorable TV adverts. One of the adverts featured a girl and a photocopier which drew a number of complaints – check it out below:
Why is it called Mikado?
Mikado is named after the ‘pick-up sticks’ style game, where the highest scoring stick has a blue stripe and is know as the ‘Mikado’. The principles of the game are straightforward – a bunch of sticks are dropped and the players need to remove a stick at a time without disturbing any of the others.
Mikado sticks are the same size as Pocky sticks, and both come in a box with the sticks wrapped in a sealed bag within the box. There are however a couple of differences between Mikado and Pocky:
1) There is nowhere near that range of flavours in the Mikado range. Pocky is known for its creativity and its staggering range of flavours and limited editions. Mikado only has a few flavours currently available in the range
2) The chocolate blend is slightly different on the basic Mikado product. The original Pocky is a slightly darker chocolate mix, whereas the basic Mikado sticks have a more ‘milk chocolate’ taste, more in common with standard milk chocolate found in other UK chocolate bars.
What flavours of Mikado are there?
Mikado doesn’t come close to the sheer number of flavours and types that are available in the Pocky range. Instead, it has a handful of core flavours that are mostly available year-round.
Where can i buy it?
Mikado is readily available in most shops and supermarkets, or you can get it delivered to your door from Amazon.co.uk