Pocky is a Japanese snack that is made up of a sweet biscuit stick covered in chocolate. Pocky has been a long-standing staple in the Japanese snack market and over the years it has managed to maintain its popularity by innovating with new flavours, and regularly producing limited edition or seasonal Pocky flavours. The Pocky series has become one of the top and longest selling products on the Japanese market, and has found fans all over the world.
Pocky: The early years
Pocky is produced by the Ezaki Glico company in Japan, and it was first manufactured and sold in 1966. When it was first released it was called Chocktek, and by all accounts it was a runaway success and Chocotek was quickly adopted by the teenagers of Japan.
In its first two years the product was responsible for sales of 30 billion yen and the name was subsequently changed to ‘Pocky’. It was called ‘Pocky’ after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, pokkin.
The original Pocky (chocolate and biscuit) remained the only Pocky flavour manufactured until 1971, when it was joined by “Almond Pocky” – which was the same basic ‘biscuit and chocolate stick’, but was it covered with an almond coating. Strawberry Pocky was released in 1977, and in recent years Pocky has become known for its wide variety of flavours and variations. Pocky often experiment with limited edition flavours, special releases, and regional variations.
Pocky around the world
Soon after its launch in Japan, the popularity of Pocky quickly spread to other neighbouring countries such as South Korea and China. Pocky was renamed ‘Rocky’ in Malaysia due to it sounding like an offensive word in Malay.
Pocky has now spread its way West and can usually be found is most Asian supermarkets and at online stores. Pocky has also been pretty much adopted as the snack of choice by Manga fans, and if there is a Manga convention taking place in your town or near to where you live, then you can be assured that there will be a stall there selling Pocky.
Pocky can still be tricky to find, but it is getting much easier, and if you know where to shop online you can get a good selection of flavours of Pocky at decent prices online. Find out where you can buy Pocky online in the Pocky Shop
Between the first Pocky in 1966 and the late 1980s there were only 3 flavours of Pocky – Chocolate, Strawberry, and Almond.
Things are different now though, with a huge array of Pocky flavours being released on to the market. Every autumn (and on other occasions in the year), Glico releases new Pocky flavours to the product lines like, Crushed Pocky, Men’s Pocky, Ultra-Thin Pocky and Pocky Chocolate. Most of these are produced as limited editions, but popular flavours sometimes get extended runs.
Example of flavours that have been released over the years are:
“Marble Pocky,” “Mango Pocky,” “Choco-Banana Pocky,” “Mousse Pocky Tiramisu,” “Pocky Honey,” “Grape Pocky,” “Kobe Wine Pocky,” “Pocky Dessert Strawberry Shortcake,” “Creamy Pocky Salty Caramel with French Milk,” “Green Tea Pocky,” “Pumpkin Pocky,” “Pocky Crush Bitter Crunch,””Lemon Cheesecake Pocky,”
Pocky flavours appear and disappear pretty quickly and it can be a challenge keeping up with all the flavours that vary from country to country, region to region, and season to season – at the start of 2009, there were “13 continuing Pocky items in Japan”. [source Japanese Times].
Pocky has had a number of regional variations, including:
- Region: Kobe – Flavour: Kobe Wine
- Region: Kyoto – Flavour: Kyoto Tea Asuki Bean
- Region: Nagano – Flavour: Grape
- Region: Hokkaido – Flavour: Yubari Melon
- Region: Kyushu – Flavour: Giant Manderin Orange
How to pronounce ‘Pocky’
There is some confusion in the English-speaking world as to how to pronounce “Pocky”. Japanese pokkī is pronounced [poʔkiː]. Both it and its Roman transcription are analogous to English words such as “rocky”, which is taken into Japanese as rokkī, suggesting an intended English pronunciation of /ˈpɒki/.
The name is effectively derived from the faulty Romanization of the Japanese sound for a sharp, crisp “snap” — pokki!
Pocky Advertising & TV Commercials:
The success of the Pocky brand has also benefited from distinctive and humorous TV commercials that features a catchy ‘Pocky Theme Song’. The song basically repeats the lyrics:
“anata mo watashi mo pocky
anata mo watashi mo pocky
anata mo watashi mo pocky
Roughly translated, this means “You and I are Pocky”, or “You are Pocky and so am I”.
The adverts often feature famous Japanese actors, actresses and celebrities. Nakama Yukie stars in this commercial below:
To see more Pocky adverts and find out more then check out the Pocky Adverts page.
Where to Buy Pocky online
Pocky is often tough to find in shops outside of Asia, but it can be bought online if you know where to look. We have aggregated the best places where you can buy Pocky online – so find out more, and feed your Pocky addiction in the Pocky Shop