Pocky vs. Pepero vs. Pejoy vs. Pretz: Differences and Reviews 2023
Chocolate-covered pretzels are delicious. As the perfect anytime, anywhere snack, its stylish packaging is made for taking with you on-the-go—conveniently nestled in your pocket, in your purse, or simply in your hand.
Pocky is probably the most famous Japanese snack! Crunchy biscuit sticks with a delicious creamy coating. Have you ever heard of Pepero Day in Korea? Which came first–the Pocky or the Pepero? Did you know you can buy Japanese Pocky in South Korea? Both are pretzel-like snack sticks coated in some sort of flavor, and for the Original flavor of each, it’s chocolate.
But what's the difference between Pocky and Pepero? Which one is tastier? There are other Asian biscuit sticks in various flavors such as Pejoy and Pretz biscuit sticks. Can they rival Pocky?
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What is Pocky?
First introduced in 1966 by the Japanese food manufacturer Ezaki Glico Co., Pocky snacks are thin, chocolate-dipped cookies that are shaped like sticks.
According to the brand, the name (pronounced like rocky, but with a p) was inspired by the Japanese word pokkiri, which is the "onomatopoeia for the snapping sound made while eating Pocky sticks."
When Pocky was launched in the mid-60s, the only chocolate available in the country at the time was imported from the US and Europe. While the Pocky stick was popular, the original version had some issues, the biggest being that the entire Pocky stick was covered in chocolate and left sticky fingers after eating.
To solve this problem, the company started keeping a portion of its cookies undipped, a practice it continues to this day.
#. Design inspiration
The design is said to be inspired by kushikatsu, a fried pork dish popular in Japan that is traditionally served on skewers.
However, the early days of making Pocky were tricky. When Glico first started producing Pocky, workers had to manually dip each stick individually in chocolate, which was really messy.
Today, with the use of machines in manufacturing facilities, workers don't waste time or effort dipping Pocky into chocolate by hand.
While they were originally marketed to young women as a convenient snack, Pocky quickly became popular with all demographics across the country. Chocolate Pocky is delicious on its own as a snack or paired with coffee, tea, milk, or even wine.
#. Flavor development
Initially, chocolate was the only Pocky flavor available. But a few years later, they quickly introduced two new flavors.
The first, introduced in 1971, was a standard chocolate stick with chopped almonds. These sticks come coated in a delicious and rich milk chocolate, and are then coated again in crushed up roasted almonds. They are much more luxurious compared to the original Chocolate Pocky.
Then, in 1976, Glico introduced Strawberry Pocky, a version dipped in strawberry cream instead of chocolate. This Pocky variation features the original buttery stick cookie and is covered in strawberry-flavored chocolate. Similar to the original Chocolate Pocky, Strawberry Pocky sticks are also not too sweet, but have the aroma of fresh strawberries.
Back then, Pocky sticks were so popular that even restaurants and cafes offered them as snacks and drink stirrers.
Pocky flavor. Almond and strawberry were introduced a few years later, and today there are over 50 different Pocky flavors available.
#. Pocky is popular all over the world!
Pocky Sticks are a popular and adored snack in Japan, they are especially loved by teenagers.
It also has a significant presence in other Asian countries, such as China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Burma, Brunei and Vietnam.
In Europe, Pocky is produced under license by Mondelēz International and sold under the name "Mikado" in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
"Mikado" can be found at most supermarkets and many international food stores.
In the United States, Pocky is marketed both by LU (in chocolate and peanut butter flavors), and by Ezaki Glico's American division, Ezaki Glico USA Corporation (in chocolate and strawberry flavors).
In Australia and New Zealand, like the United States and Canada, these are also widely available in the international sections on the Asian food aisles of most supermarket chains.
In Turkey, Pocky is produced by Ülker and Şölen, under Biskrem Bi'stik and Biscolata Stix name.
According to Glico, about 500 million boxes are sold annually and 19 billion boxes have been sold worldwide since 1966.
#. Pocky & Pretz Day
You'll be surprised to know that Pocky also has his own holiday in Japan.
A day dedicated to eating Pocky might sound a little weird at first, but it doesn't seem so weird when you consider the Japanese people's apparent love for the snacks.
Japan celebrates Pocky Day, or "pokki no hi," on November 11.
Glico declared this holiday on November 11th 1999 for their Pocky and Pretz series, actually officially declaring it as Pocky and Pretz Day.
This particular date was chosen not only because the shape of Pocky sticks resemble the number 1, but November 11th 1999 also marked Heisei 11, or the 11th year of the Heisei era.
Pocky & Pretz Day has been certified as a memorial day by the Japan Anniversary Association (日本記念日協会, Nihon Kinenbi Kyoukai).
While it is not a national holiday by any means, it is still a fun occasion to enjoy a box of Pocky with your friends and family!
Pocky Day is marked by events all over Japan at which sugar fiends can win prizes, snap selfies to help create an online photo mosaic and celebrate their love for all things Pocky-related.
But at its core, Pocky Day is just a brilliant idea by Glico to sell as many boxes of Pocky as possible.
On Nov. 11, 2013, Glico even started a successful campaign to get Pocky to be the most tweeted brand name within 24 hours. And in 2019, Pocky secured another world record as the largest chocolate biscuit brand on the planet after amassing $589 million in sales.
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What is Pretz?
A product related to Pocky is Pretz, which is an unglazed version of Pocky. Pretz (プリッツ, Purittsu) is also made by Ezaki Glico.
Pretz is stick-shaped and comes with a texture similar to pretzels. Unlike Pocky, Pretz is dusted with seasonings instead of enrobed in a flavoured fudge.
Pretz comes in multiple varieties and three sizes: Regular, Kid's, and Giant.
Most Pretz come in the Regular size, with some flavours also being offered in Giant size.
The Kid's size is a smaller pack of Pretz and is sweeter to appeal to children. Kid's packages also come with a cartoon child on the package.
#. Pocky vs. Pretz: Which is better?
Pretz differs from Pocky in that most flavors are savory rather than sweet.
So the flavors of Pocky and Pretz complement rather than compete with each other: If you want a salty snack, Pretz will satisfy you, while if you prefer sweet treats, Pocky will suit you better.
It also depends on when you choose to enjoy these cookies! For example, a box of Pretz is better for a picnic or as an appetizer. Pocky can be enjoyed as a grab-and-go breakfast or even as a snack for all ages, whether at school or at the office.
What is Pepero Day?
November 11th is a day of many celebrations! There’s the national Pocky Day in Japan, Pepero Day in Korea, and Singles Day in China.
The time origin of these festivals!
The origin of Pepero Day is usually traced back to 1983.
The Singles' Day, or Bachelors' Day, originated at Nanjing University in 1993. Singles' Day celebrations spread to several other universities in Nanjing during the 1990s. 11 November (11/11), consisting of four 1's, was chosen as it represents four singles.
The 1st November 1999 became the first Pocky Day with the number ‘1’ representing a Pocky stick shape (1.11).
It is understood that it started among female students in the Lingnan area in 1983. In the story, two female middle school students exchange Pepero, hoping that both of them will become taller and thinner.
The prevailing thinking is that for maximum effectiveness for height and thinness, one must eat 11 packets of Pepero on November 11, 11:11 am and 11:11 pm at 11 seconds exactly.
Since then, Lotte started to use the aforementioned school story to successfully promote Pepero Day. Nowadays, couples make Pepero or purchase it from the market in exchange with their gratitude to convey affection.
#. Pepero - Korea's Hottest Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Stick
Next, let’s check out the South Korean version, Pepero.
Ezaki Glico’s Pocky and Lotte Confectionery’s Pepero have a long history and known as rival companies in chocolate-covered stick (pretzel).
The twist in the tale is that Glico first came up with the idea for a chocolate-dipped pretzel stick in 1966, and Lotte didn't introduce the Pepero until 1983.
At the time, Glico considered taking action against what it considered a copycat snack, says Ms. Yamamoto—but found it would be difficult, because Pocky wasn't sold in Korea.
Lotte, naturally, denies it was inspired by Glico. "There is no relation to Pocky at all," said Lotte's Mr. Jeong.
Pepero is a ubiquitous Korean snack. The typically chocolate-dipped biscuit stick is not just popular to have as a treat, but also to be given as a gift.
In observance of Pepero Day in Korea, people celebrate it by giving Pepero boxes as gifts every November 11th. Think of it as Valentine’s Day for everyone! They are typically exchanged between couples, but people can generally give them to people they love, like their friends, co-workers, or family members, as a symbol of their affection.
The price won’t be a concern since it’s such a cheap Korean food that the barrier to purchasing Pepero boxes for someone is low, even outside of the circle of loved ones.
#. Japan, South Korea Argue Over a Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Stick
Pocky was invented before Pepero, so one could raise whether Pepero is a copy of Pocky.
Similarly, Pepero Day was the first to become a commercial holiday to celebrate, and Pocky Day became a holiday on the same day in Japan a little later. "Pocky Day is a copy of Pepero Day," said Jeong Sung-won, a Lotte official.
The popularity of Pepero Day has been very successful in South Korea. About 60% of Pepero's annual sales are generated between September and November.
Nonetheless, competition between Pepero and Pocky may heat up in coming years as the companies look to expand their reach in more markets. Both are entering more South East Asian countries, for example.
Pocky displays can now be found next to those for Pepero in Korean supermarkets and department stores.
Want to know the results of the comparison? In terms of personal experience and feedback from netizens, we think Pepero is better!
#1. Chocolate coating
Pepero has more of a chocolate coating. So when the whole stick is eaten, we think the ratio of chocolate and cookie is more balanced, and it tastes smoother.
The plethora of toppings brings so much joy to the snacking experience, it almost feels like two snacks in one, as the cookie sticks are delicious too, but coated with so much more goodness.
Also, Pepero has a more intense chocolate flavor, which seems to be really high quality dark chocolate. However Pocky's is more like milk chocolate. If you're picky, you might think it's a little artificially flavored.
The texture of Pepero's cookie and almond topping is also satisfying. More substance creates a more satisfying overall snacking experience.
This cookie is very similar to Pocky in texture and crunch. But Pocky is more crunchy.
But Pepero's seems to be more delicious, with a buttery taste that melts in the mouth. Both the stick and the topping have a nice crunch and work together nicely. Not so thick or heavy that you feel like something is getting stuck in your teeth.
If you prefer a simpler texture and thinner cookie sticks, Pocky will be more for you.
Pepero's packaging is very different from Pocky's. Korea's #1 brand is still creative and good looking, but not as cute as Pocky.
Each pack contains one bag of cookie sticks, airtight for freshness.
In terms of the appearance of the cookie sticks, the differences are minimal. Even the pattern on the exposed part of the stick is surprisingly similar.
There are probably more Pepero per pack than Pocky, though. And Pocky's stick is thinner and longer.
Both brands of chocolate sticks are available worldwide, and the price difference between them is not that great. On average, Pepero is priced a little less than Pocky, not to mention, it packs a little more per pack.
As far as flavor options go, Pepero has about 20 flavors, while Pocky expands to 50 flavors. So for those who like to try, Pocky is more worth exploring.
In fact, Pocky has over 50 flavors! The product line includes variations in the flavored coatings, such as milk, mousse, green tea, honey, banana, cookies and cream, strawberry and coconut, and themed products such as "Decorer Pocky", with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and "Men's Pocky", a "mature" dark (bittersweet) chocolate version.
Some popular Pepero flavors are the following: chocolate (original), strawberry, almond, nude, white chocolate cookie, black chocolate cookie, tiramisu cheese, melon, peanut, double dip white chocolate, double dip black chocolate, blueberry yogurt, cherry double dip, mint choco, Yakult yogurt, strawberry double dip, nude cheddar cheese, dark chocolate, peanut butter.
What is Pejoy?
From the makers of Glico, discover the luxury of Pejoy, crisp biscuit shells with a rich, creamy chocolate filling.
Pocky and Pejoy are manufactured and sold by the same company (Glico). They have one major difference, and that's deliciousness.
Pocky is a cookie stick half-dipped in chocolate or other flavors. Pejoy, by contrast, is a cookie stick filled with chocolate and other flavors.
Because of the stuffing inside the Pejoy, it's full of flavor from start to finish. While one end of the Pocky is scent-soaked, the other end is plain as the uncoated end is used as a handle to avoid stickiness.
#. Pejoy Vs Pocky: How are they different?
The Pejoy was created after the Pocky as it was nicknamed "inside out Pocky".
Glico launched the Pejoy after realizing that the seasoning on the outside of the Pocky stick was melting and creating a messy experience. The filling is added to the inside of the stick, and Pejoy was created to avoid this dilemma.
Some available Pejoy flavors include Pejoy: Chocolate, Pejoy: Cookies & Cream, Pejoy: Matcha Green Tea.
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