Pepero is involved in a controversy with the Japanese product Pocky.
As of 2014, Pepero is manufactured in 7 flavors:
- Almond (coated with chocolate)
- Nude (chocolate in the center with a biscuit coating on the outside; the other way around from an original chocolate pepero)
- White Chocolate Cookie
- Tiramisu Cheese
Pepero is "strikingly similar" to the Japanese snack Pocky which is manufactured by a Japanese confectionery company Glico since 1966. When Pepero was introduced in 1983, Glico considered taking action against what it considered a copycat snack but found it would be difficult, because Pocky was not sold in Korea. As such Pepero has been claimed to be a Korean version of Pocky, Lotte denies that it was inspired by the product.
In 2014, Glico sued Lotte which allegedly copied packaging box design of Glico's Baton d'or exclusive series of Pocky and Pretz for Lotte's new product Premier Pepero. On 14 August 2015, Seoul district court ruled that Lotte stole the box design of Glico's products and the ruling is expected to force Lotte to halt its sales of the product and dispose of the existing stock.
On July 10, 2015, Glico filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against Lotte USA for infringing on the trademarks of Pocky. Glico had registered the Pocky's three-dimensional trademarks prior to the launch of Pepero in the U.S.
- (Korean) Pepero Type
- "Japan and South Korea argue over a chocolate-covered pretzel stick". The Washington Post. November 11, 2015.
Lotte Confectionery, a South Korean food company, started making a strikingly similar product — while denying it had copied Pocky — called Pepero in 1983.
- "Pocky's history". Glico.
- 製品の歴史 ポッキー編 [Product history - Pocky] (in Japanese). Ezaki Glico. Archived from the original on July 1, 2013.
- Park, Tae-Hee (November 7, 2013). "Glico finds partner for Korean market". Korea Joongang Daily. JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Gale, Alastair (November 11, 2013). "On Pepero Day, a Japanese Rival Lurks". Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- グリコの「本家」ポッキー、韓国上陸へ ロッテに対抗 [Glico's original, Pocky to land Korea competing against Lotte] (in Japanese). The Asahi Shimbun. May 15, 2013. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013.
- "EZAKI GLICO : Glico sues S. Korea's Lotte over "copied" packaging design". 4-traders.com. 26 December 2014. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014.
- "Court rules Lotte copied rival's snack design". The Korea Herald. August 23, 2015.
- "Inadmissible: Company Accused of Trademark Infringement, Rapper 50 Cent Doesn't Have 50 Cents, Files for Bankruptcy". New Jersey Law Journal. July 16, 2015.
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