IRVINE, Calif., May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Pocky, the leader in the emerging trend of Asian confections and snack foods, will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a visit to the Sweets & Snacks Expo at Chicago's McCormick Place May 24-26. While many Baby Boomers may not be familiar with Pocky, it is especially popular with Millennials and Asian culture fans.
"We are very excited to celebrate Pocky's 50th Anniversary at the Sweets & Snacks Expo," said Mr. Akitoshi Oku, President of Ezaki Glico USA. "The Pocky brand has experienced strong growth in the US market the past few years, and we are very much looking forward to sharing our story with everyone at the Expo this year."
Pocky was originally introduced by Japan's Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. in 1966 as "the world's first chocolate stick snack," – a tasty, crispy cookie biscuit stick dipped in rich, chocolate cream with a unique "handle" for no-mess chocolate delight. Inspired by the Japanese onomatopoeia for the snapping sound from eating these crispy sticks, they named it "Pocky." Pocky became a huge success in Japan as well as an integral part of Japanese culture. It has since expanded across the globe to over 30 countries, including the US where it is the leading snack in the rapidly growing Asian snack food segment.
In the beginning, each stick was hand-dipped in chocolate, leaving one end of the stick bare. This unique "handle" benefitted the hand-dipping process and facilitating eating Pocky without getting chocolate on one's hands.
As demand increased, manual dipping was replaced with more efficient processes, but the signature handle remained. Packaging also evolved over the years, but kept its compact portability that makes Pocky perfect as an on-the-go snack. While the popular, creamy chocolate coating has not changed, new flavor varieties have been introduced in the US, including Strawberry, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Banana and Matcha Green Tea.
Now in its third year, the Pocky Share Happiness Tour is currently touring Chicagoland (through June 19) and Los Angeles (through May 29), sharing free Pocky with fans and newcomers to the brand. Previously it toured the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and the New York metro area.
The Pocky tour truck – appropriately wrapped in the same red as Pocky's original, iconic packaging – features smiling, costumed brand ambassadors giving away free Pocky to thank its loyal fans and to introduce the brand to new consumers. Fans follow @Pocky on Twitter for tour location updates.
Pocky is sold at Costco, Amazon.com, Asian supermarkets and the Asian food section of most grocery stores, including Target and Walmart.
Pocky culture is about sharing happiness with friends, family, and co-workers - anyone, anytime, anywhere! With plenty of sticks in each package, Pocky lends itself especially well to sharing, and hence its brand theme, "Share Happiness."
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