Choco pie

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Choco pie
Chocolate Pie.jpg
Type Snack cake
Place of origin United States
Invented 1917
Cookbook: Choco pie  Media: Choco pie
Korean name
Hangul 초코파이
Revised Romanization chokopai
McCune–Reischauer ch'ok'op'ai
IPA [tɕʰo.kʰo.pʰa.i]

A choco pie (초코파이) is a snack cake consisting of two small round layers of cake with marshmallow filling and a chocolate covering. The term originated in America but is now also used in other parts of Japan, South Korea, many countries as either a brand name or a generic term. Names for similar confections in other places include chocolate marshmallow pie,[1] Wagon Wheels, angel pie,[2] and moon pie.


Variations of the original go back to as far as 1917 in the southern United States. In 1929, Chattanooga Bakery created the Moon Pie with marshmallow filling and Graham crackers for local miners in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[3]

In Japan, this confectionery became popular after American soldiers introduced it after the Second World War. In 1958, "Angel pie" of Angel Mark which is covered with chocolate with marshmallow sandwiched by soft cake (also called "half life cake") from Morinaga confectionery is being sold. Lotte also began selling as "Choco Pai"in1979, in Korea and in 1983, in Japan.

In 1973, a member of the R&D team of the Korean firm Tongyang Confectionery visited a hotel in Georgia, US, and was inspired by the chocolate-coated sweets available in the hotel's restaurant, He returned to South Korea and began experimenting with a chocolate biscuit cake, creating the “choco pie” as it is known to Koreans.[4] The name "Choco Pie" became popular when Tongyang first released the Orion Choco Pie, and was well received by Korean children as well as the elderly because of its affordable price and white marshmallow filling. Tongyang Confectionery later renamed the company Orion Confectionery thanks to the success of the Orion Choco Pie brand.

In 1979 Lotte Confectionery began to sell a similar confection. When Lotte Confectionery put the Lotte Choco Pie on the market, it chose to spell the prefix 'Cho' slightly differently in Hangul from how Tongyang was spelling it. Haitai and Crown Confectionery also began selling their own versions of choco pies. In 1999, after many years of sales of different "Choco Pie" products, Tongyang (Orion) filed a lawsuit against Lotte for their use of the term "Choco Pie", claiming the name was their intellectual property. The court ruled, however, that Tongyang was responsible for having allowed its brand name to become, over time, a generic trademark and that the term "choco pie" was to be considered a common noun due to its generic descriptive sense in reference to confections of similar composition.[5]

In 2016, Orion released a banana-flavored Choco Pie to celebrate its 60th anniversary. It is the first variation of the original product in 42 years since the company launched the Choco Pie with marshmallow cream in 1974.[6]

In Japan, where Moon Pie and Graham crackers had been introduced by American servicemen, a similar confection called Angel Pie was first marketed by Morinaga & Company in 1958 on a limited basis, expanding nationally in 1961. Lotte Japan started manufacturing and marketing its own version of Choco pie in 1983.


Strawberry Choco Pie is sold only in Japan

Starting in the 2000s, Orion began using the Choco Pie to gain a foothold in foreign markets, and now controls a two-thirds share of the Chinese snack market, with a third of Orion's revenue coming from outside Korea in 2006.[7] Around 12.1 billion Choco Pies have been sold all over the world.[clarification needed][8]

Orion has a share in four major markets – South Korea, Russia, Vietnam and China. In 2016, Choco Pie, which sold 600 million copies in Russia, is called the 'National Pie'.[9] The snack has also been particularly successful in Pakistan, India, Vietnam and Taiwan. Additionally, it has become a favorite snack of North Korean workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and has come to symbolize capitalism.[10] In 2010, The Chosun Ilbo reported that choco pies could fetch as much as US$9.50 on the North Korean black market.[11]

Exports of choco pies to North Korea have been very popular, with the snack used in lieu of hard cash in paying North Korean Worker bonuses. North Korean workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea receive choco pies as part of their compensation. Prior to the closing of the complex during the 2013 Korean crisis, workers received up to 20 choco pies per day in addition to their wages. The workers would often resell the pies on the black market. In the wake of the 2013 shutdown of the Kaesung complex, the price of a choco pie in North Korea skyrocketed, with the snack being the subject of financial speculation.[12] After the complex resumed operations after a five-month halt, workers were cut back to a maximum of two choco pies per day.[13]


  • Choco pie original[14]
  • Choco pie with banana[15]
  • Choco pie with choco chip[16]


  1. ^ "Chocolate Marshmallow Pies". McKee Foods website. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ Orchid64 (July 16, 2010). "Angel Pie (Mini)". Japanese Snack Reviews. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ "MoonPie: About". Chattanooga Bakery. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  4. ^ 남형도기자 (31 March 2009). 오리온 초코파이 (in Korean). The Financial News. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  5. ^ ""Choco Pie" is a "Common Noun"". Chosun Ilbo. 5 August 1999. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Bahk Eun-ji (7 March 2016). "Chocolate pie with banana taste hits market". The Korea Timesr. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Kelly, Tim (27 February 2006). "Cookie Monster". LLC. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "(Korean)" (in Korean). Orion Confectionery. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "오리온 "러시아서 초코파이 한해 10억 개로 확대 생산"". 중앙일보 (in Korean). 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  10. ^ Donald Kirk (21 May 2009). "Pyongyang chokes on sweet capitalism". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Choco Pie Rules Black Market in N.Korea". Chosun Ilbo. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "NK Choco Pie Price Falls on KIC News". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-04-09. 
  13. ^ Debbie Jeong (September 17, 2013). "Choco Pie distribution to be cut down at Kaesong". NK News. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Orion Power Brand - 제품소개". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24. 
  15. ^ "Orion Power Brand - 제품소개". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24. 
  16. ^ "Orion Power Brand - 제품소개". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-24. 

13 Engel pie in 1958, in japan

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