The Brilliant Reason Pocky Sticks Are Only Half-Dipped

Pocky was first released in 1966, per Glico, and it was an instant hit. The sweet snack first found popularity in Japan, but can now be purchased and enjoyed all around the world. The sweet treats can even be found in many popular U.S. retailers like Target, Walmart, Kroger, and more.

The snack is so popular that it holds two world records (via Mental Floss). In 2014, the brand achieved the record for "Most mentions of a brand name on Twitter in 24 hours," having achieved 3.71 million mentions. Additionally, Pocky holds the record for "World's Best-Selling Chocolate-Coated Biscuit Brand," having been certified in 2020, according to Glico.

Though the sweet treat is beloved worldwide for its delicious taste and unique aesthetics, Pocky has changed quite a bit since the product first hit the shelves. In fact, Glico had to make an important update to its iconic product to make it more appealing to consumers.

Sometimes less is more

When Pocky first hit store shelves, it was marketed as an on-the-go snack for women but quickly became beloved by all age groups (via Mental Floss). The treat was created by Ezaki Glico Co., which started selling caramel candies in the early 1920's. The company sold its caramel treats in red boxes — a design that is now synonymous with Pocky's branding.

The original Pocky formula featured stick-shaped cookies that were completely coated in chocolate. While delicious, these were impractical to eat cleanly, as the chocolate would often melt on the fingers of those who enjoyed it. Since the snack was being marketed as perfect for on-the-go enjoyment, the company knew it needed a change.

The inspiration came from kushikatsu: a Japanese fried pork dish served on a skewer (Per Mental Floss). Rather than add a skewer to the Pocky, the company opted to dip only part of the cookie in the chocolate, leaving one end bare to prevent a mess.

A snack with international appeal

The original chocolate-dipped flavor was the first Pocky release, but the snack became so popular that Glico decided to expand just a few years after its initial launch (via Glico). In 1971, the company introduced Pocky Almond: the standard stick-shaped cookie dipped in chocolate, then rolled in crushed almonds. For those who prefer something a little fruitier, Pocky Strawberry was released in 1976. This flavor came in a few different sizes and prices, so customers could choose exactly how much they wanted at a time.

Pocky made its way to Thailand in 1970 and began selling its products across Southeast Asia. In the 1980s, the brand was selling its sweets in more countries worldwide, and by 2003, it had made its way to the United States. Today, Pocky sells five standard flavors: Chocolate, strawberry, chocolate banana, matcha, and cookies and cream (via Japan Crate). However, the company boasts over 50 unique varieties, including limited-edition flavors to try if you're feeling adventurous.