The Leaf Candy Company was a major American producer of candy and trading cards. The company was originally founded by Sol S. Leaf in Chicago, Illinois.
Mr. Leaf started various candy companies beginning in the 1920’s and they were merged into Leaf Brands in 1947. The company headquarters were later moved to Illinois before Leaf Brands was eventually sold to Hershey.
Leaf Confectionery Company introduced Rainblo Bubble Gum in 1940. Rainblo gum balls were the first gumballs with a hollow center and the first that had coloring and flavoring throughout the gum, rather than just on the surface of the gumball.
In 1948 Leaf issued its first set of baseball cards, considered one the of the first sets of "modern" baseball cards.
In 1949 Leaf Brands reintroduced malted milk balls as Whoppers which are still popular to this day.
In 1983 Leaf acquired Jolly Rancher. Also in 1983, Leaf Candy Company in Illinois was purchased by Huhtamäki Oyj of Finland. He acquired the Donruss trading card division of General Mills at about the same time and merged it into Leaf.
In the 1990s Leaf had become one of the world's top ten confectionery companies. By 1993 Leaf was the fourth largest candy producer in North America.
Pinnacle Brands acquired the rights to produce trading cards under the Leaf and Donruss imprints from Huhtamäki Oyj. In 1998 Pinnacle/Donruss filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Donruss company itself is shut down and only the name lives on.
Playoff acquired the rights to produce trading cards under the Leaf and Donruss imprints from Pinnacle in a bankruptcy auction.