The Untold Truth Of Pocky

If we told you that there is a link between the glycogen (stored glucose) found in oysters and one of the world's most popular chocolate-covered biscuit snacks, you would probably think we were kidding. But glycogen's role in the recovery of company founder Ri-ichi Ezaki's son prompted Ezaki to name his company Glico, and today we all know Glico to be the Japanese producer of Pocky biscuit sticks (via Glico).

Glico has been around since 1922, when it first introduced Glico Caramel and Bisco, a biscuit treat. While World War II put a temporary halt to the company's manufacturing activities, they were able to get back on their feet, and by 1955 they introduced a new product, Almond Glico (a caramel candy studded with almonds). Glico's first pretzel-stick product was introduced in 1962 and was called "PRETZ" based on the traditional German snack. And in 1966, the company unveiled Pocky — the world's first chocolate-covered biscuit-stick that was coated with chocolate on one end and was left plain on the other. Keeping one end chocolate-free helped ensure so no one would get chocolate on their fingers as they were snacking (via Glico).

Pocky is a global phenomenon

But the mostly chocolate-covered biscuit sticks weren't always known as Pocky. The treats were once called Chocotek, but that name fell by the wayside, likely when manufacturers realized they could name it after the onomatopeic word "pokkin" instead — the word depicts the snap someone hears when a stick is broken in two (via Tasting Table).

Pocky began its global spread in 1970 when Glico opened a subsidiary in Thailand. Chocolate was soon joined by almond in 1971, and strawberry in 1977. Today, Glico makes as many as 500 million sticks in more than 50 different flavors including Cookies and Cream, Green Tea, Almond Crush, Chocolate Banana, and Strawberry (via Entrepreneur).

Pocky isn't just a well-loved snack, it's big in pop culture too. Japan kickstarted Pocky Day on November 11, 1999 or the 11th day of the 11 month of the 11th year in the Japanese calendar or 11-11-11 (now doesn't that look like a collection of Pocky sticks to you?). It also holds the Guinness World Record on Twitter as the most tweeted brand within a 24-hour period. That's 3,710,044 tweets, in case you were wondering.