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The Secret Behind the Popularity of Pocky, a Beloved Snack of Japan

Pocky is a familiar snack that is loved around the world. Here, we introduce the secret behind its popularity and the production process. <*The information is from Kansai walker (issued November 8, 2016)>

The popularity of Pocky (168 JPY/box) seems boosted further thanks to the combination of the flavorful pretzel sticks and the new chocolate recipe that has a richer taste. Limited edition Pocky are released each year in the summer and winter.

A Look at the Production Process

<1> The pretzel dough is thinly stretched - Flour, oil and sugar are kneaded together. It is left to rise for a period, then the dough is divided and stretched to a thickness of 5mm using a special roller.

<2> Strings of dough go into the oven - Before placing in the oven, the dough is cut into strings and stretched further. They insert a cut in the dough to outline the length of each pretzel, and then, with the dough still attached to each other, is baked in an oven for approximately 30min.

<3> Slowly cooled after baking - Once the dough is baked, it is divided into individual pretzels at the point it was cut, and covered with a coat of oil. It is then slowly cooled over a full day.

<4> Covered in the all-important chocolate to finish - The pretzels are covered in chocolate, cooled, then bagged. They are then boxed and go through X-ray and weight inspections, then wrapped in packages of ten. At the factory, there are inspections at each stage.

Behind Pocky's Popularity

Pocky was designed with about 2cm section of uncoated pretzel where it could be held. This extra bit was behind the success of the snack, now beloved across the nation. In 1999, November 11 became Pocky Day with "1" representing a Pocky.

The dough that is marked before going into the oven is separated into individual Pocky-sized pretzel by its own weight after baking.

The pretzels can break if cooled suddenly after baking, so they are cooled over a full day and kept straight.

A Chocolate Snack that is Popular Nationwide

Among the many popular products that Glico is famous for, such as caramel, Pocky is now its iconic product. Its development as a new chocolate snack began in 1963, following the success of the Butter Pretz. Initially, there were trials with pretzels covered completely in chocolate and wrapped in foil, but the idea of leaving 2cm of pretzel by which to hold it was introduced to address the cost of the foil. It was released on a trial basis in Osaka in 1966, and quickly spread across the country as an innovative chocolate snack you can eat without getting your hands dirty, with a catchy name that reflects its light and crunchy texture.

The popularity of the product continued to spread across generations with campaigns such as "Pocky on the Rocks" and "Pocky on Your Travels" that suggested different ways of enjoying it. Over the years, it has grown into a snack that is beloved across Japan and in 30 countries around the world, for the way it fits into a variety of everyday situations. In 2015, which marked the 50th anniversary of its creation, considerable adjustments were made to five of its main products, including the original Pocky, for a renewal launch. The flavors have become richer and have attracted even more fans.

Takuya Ichida of Glico's Corporate Communications department comments, "In October 2016, we released the Pocky Trinity that combines three flavors, and the Pocky Midi, which is made of biscuit and is coated in whipped chocolate. We will continue to evolve Pocky further so look forward to it!"

■Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd.<Address: 4-6-5 Utajima, Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka (Headquarters); Phone: 0120-917-111 (Customer Center); Founded: 1922; CEO: Katsuhisa Ezaki; Industry: Production and sales of snacks and food; Employees: 1,472 (as of 2016)>

A Chocolate Snack that is Popular Nationwide

4-6-5 Utajima, Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 04.11.2018]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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