Pocky is the Japanese snack you’ll see almost everywhere. They’re breadish/cookie-ish sticks with chocolate on them. They’re popular all over the world. But it’s most popular in Japan, its country of origin. Every November 11 (11-11), Japan goes Pocky crazy, because the date is made up of ones. And ones are the same shape as Pocky.
Sure, it seems obvious in retrospect. Ones = sticks. But it wasn’t so obvious to Pocky’s creators. Then what inspired this national cookie-eating phenomenon? Turns out nothing. Pocky Day wasn’t inspired. It was stolen.
1963 saw the creation of a new delicious innovation in snacking, a breadstick coated in chocolate and served in boxes. It was instantly popular, though it had the issue of being messy to eat, the entire stick was coated in chocolate and thus resulted in chocolate-coated hands. Surely this wouldn’t do, this candy, known as Pretz, was in for a revolution. Ezaki Glico food corporation went back to the drawing board and came up with a number of solutions for their popular candy.
Should they cover one end of the stick in a removable foil? Certainly, this would work, but it would also result in increased costs for a typically low-cost snack, and it would be annoying for the customer. Suddenly they’d have a new piece to get rid of, and have to unwrap it while snacking. Then genius struck, they’d just remove chocolate from a portion of the candy, and leave it with a handle. From that one decision a sensation was born, they renamed it to Rocky until 2014, when the name we know and love, Pocky, became the name that would stay.