Pocky is an iconic Japanese snack that gets its name from the snapping sound, pokkin, the treat makes when you eat it. Pocky starts with a crispy biscuit stick that’s dipped in chocolate, leaving just a bit of the end so your fingers don’t get messy.
Different flavors of Pocky are available in specific countries, with some special flavors limited to certain areas. Even in its country of origin, there are unique regional flavors of Pocky inspired by different ingredients native to Japan.
With super satisfying textures and a wide array of delicious flavors, it’s hard to have just one Pocky. Enjoy them as a snack, a dessert decoration or to stir your drink.
Read on to learn about the history of Pocky along with some of the unique flavor variation this iconic Japanese sweet comes in.
The Origins of Pocky
Pocky was invented by Yoshiaki Koma and first released by the Ezaki Glico Co. in Japan in 1966. The original chocolate-covered biscuit stick was an instant hit, prompting the creation of new flavors. Almond Pocky went on sale in 1971 and, five years later, strawberry flavored Pocky was released. In 1970, Thai Glico Co. was established, and Pocky was able to spread throughout southeast Asia.
The 1980s would bring a period of creativity, with different Pocky flavors for various tastes. There was Pocky Bitter, Little Pocky, and Almond Crush Pocky. This trend continued into the 1990s, which saw the creation of Marble Pocky and Chunky Strawberry Pocky—which used freeze dried strawberry pieces.
The 2000s brought even more flavors, including matcha, strawberry, and white chocolate versions of the original. Pocky Decorer, which was also referred to as “Gorgeous Pocky,” was also created during this time.
By the 2010s, Pocky had reached nearly every corner of the globe. Pocky came in a wide array of styles and flavors, but customers were starting to flock back to the original “Red Box” Pocky. Glico decided to jump on the trend, refocusing on their original Pocky. Today, a variety of Pocky flavors are sold globally.
Pocky reached France in 1982, opening the door to the rest of Europe. In Europe, Pocky is sold under the name “Mikado,” with traditional flavors like dark, milk, and white chocolate-covered varieties. There’s also an “Intense” Pocky line, including chocolate noir with a hint of salt and a salted caramel version.
Another European Pocky is the Mikado Daim, a crossover with a Swedish chocolate bar. This biscuit is covered in milk chocolate and crunchy caramel chunks. The Mikado King Milk is a biscuit stick that’s coated in a chocolate moose and then drizzled with chocolate.
Seasonality and regionality is very important in Japanese cuisine, and that applies to Japanese snacks as well.
Tasty regional fruit flavors include Shinshu Kyoho Grape from Nagano, Yubari King Melon from Hokkaido, and Sato Nishiki Cherry from Yamagata. Other unique Japanese flavors are Uji Matcha from Kyoto, Gorojima Kintoki Sweet Potato from the Kaga region, and Tokyo Amazake.
Seasonal Pocky flavors include sakura, for the spring, which is made with a browned butter biscuit and sweet sakura (cherry blossom) flavored chocolate that’s dotted with flecks of salt and sugar to make the flavors pop. There’s also sakura matcha, where the biscuit has a hint of cherry blossom and the coating is a rich, matcha-flavored chocolate. For the summer, there’s coconut and Brazilian orange flavors.
Lucky Pocky Flavors
When it comes to luxurious Pocky, there’s Megami no Ruby “Goddess Ruby” Pocky , which is made to pair red with wine. The biscuit, made savory with black pepper, cheddar, and Parmesan cheese flavors, is coated in dark chocolate infused with berries. Similarly, Otona no Kohaku “Adult Amber” Pocky is made to pair with whiskey. The dark chocolate coating has the scent of whiskey and malt extract is added to the biscuit dough.
Another special line of Pocky is Afternoon Luxury. The flavors include Chocolat and Uji Matcha, where the biscuit sticks are made using fermented butter and the coatings are extra thick.
North American Pocky
Pocky production reached Canada in 1987 and the U.S. in 2003. Today, the core Pocky flavors available in both countries include Chocolate, Chocolate Banana, Cookies & Cream, Matcha, and Strawberry.
Some notable flavor variations are the matcha Pocky, which is milder than Japanese versions. Also, both Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Banana Pocky do a reversible, featuring chocolate biscuit sticks with cream coatings.
There’s already so many flavors of Pocky to discover around the globe, and more are added every year as Glico continues to improve their recipes and formulate new ones. Check out our selection of Japanese Pocky on the Market and find a new favorite flavor today!