Osaka home office of the Glico Confectionery Co. advertising postcard, c. 1935.

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Osaka home office of the Glico Confectionery Co. advertising postcard, c. 1935. Best known today for its Pocky chocolate-covered biscuit pretzel sticks, the confectionery company’s first products were ‘Glico’ caramel, introduced in 1922 and still selling today, and Glico Bisuko [a transliteration of ‘biscuit’], a biscuit cookie, in 1933.

See also:
Meiji-brand “Cream Caramel” advertising postcard, c. 1935.
Royal Dutch Chocolate Cocoa advertising postcard, c. 1920.

“The Glico Confectionery Co. was effectively established on February 11, 1922, the day that small boxes of ‘Glico Caramel’ chews, packaged in distinctive red boxes, were offered to the public for the first time. As demand grew, factories were built outside of Japan too, starting with Dalian, China. However, all domestic and foreign facilities were completely destroyed by the end of the Second World War in 1945.

“It was in 1919, Mr. Riichi Ezaki, Glico’s founder, tested and confirmed that oyster broth contains generous amounts of glycogen [from which the company name, ‘Glico’, derives its name]. Based on this result, he took the necessary steps to commercially offer food products incorporating glycogen and therefore, spread its healthful benefits to the world. Underlying this goal was the fact that glycogen extract had contributed to Mr. Ezaki’s son overcoming the symptoms of typhus.

“In due time, the chewy nutritious confection ‘Glico Caramel’ was introduced into the marketplace and Glico came up with the objective of ‘Enhance health through food!’.

“Sales of Glico Caramel commenced at the Osaka branch of the Mitsukoshi department store on February 11, 1922, the date celebrated today as the company’s founding day. The heart-shaped caramel product featured a distinctive red package illustrated by a marathon runner with arms raised in the air resembling victory.

“The first small boxes of caramel chews came with picture cards enclosed. In 1927, a small toy replaced the picture card enclosed in each box. In 1929, the caramel chew packaging was redesigned to accommodate the placing of a small toy ‘surprise’ enclosed on the top of each box.

“In 1933, Glico introduced its second confectionery treat: a sandwich-type biscuit cookie, trademaked ‘Bisuko’ [the transliteration of ‘biscuit’], that also remains for sale today.”

Glico Confectionery Co. website

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