Pocky is a snack that stick-shaped cookie coated with chocolate. Glico, snack food manufacturing company in Osaka, named November 11 “Pocky Day” for its product. This is because the stick-shaped snacks look 1111 when put them in a row horizontally. The day it was established was November 11, 1999 (“Heisei 11” in the Japanese calendar), the very day that six 1s were lined up in a row.
Seasonal events are always set up as opportunities for companies to do business. The custom of giving chocolate for Valentine’s Day in Japan also spread when the founder of a confectionery company in Hyogo Prefecture advertised in 1936.
Pocky Day is also an artificial but playful event. I have a memory of this day. This time in November, during my senior year of high school, I was studying hard for the college entrance exam the following year. While studying hard every day, I received a Pocky from a friend. On the outside box of the snack, “Eat with me during break time!” was written on the box. I was very encouraged. The same is still the case today, with these snacks being handed out at company workplaces with a message attached as a small token of the other person’s labor. The outer box of Pocky at this time of year has a blank space on it on which you can write a message.
The theme of Pocky is “Share happiness!.” Pocky sells 500 million boxes a year in 30 countries around the world.