Leaf Brands was originally founded by Sol S. Leaf in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Leaf started various candy companies beginning in the 1920s, and they were merged into Leaf Brands in 1947. In 1983, the Leaf Candy Company in Illinois was purchased by Huhtamäki Oyj of Helsinki, Finland, and merged it with Phoenix Candy (the maker of Now and Later) and another candy company it had acquired, all under the Leaf name. Huhtamäki Oyj acquired the Donruss trading card division of General Mills at about the same time and merged it into Leaf. In 1986, Leaf purchased some confectionery brands from Beatrice Foods, the producer of Milk Duds. Also in 1986, Leaf, Inc. sold Phoenix Candy to Kouri Capital, a Finnish investment firm, and changed that company’s name to Phoenix Confections. In 1988, Hollywood Brands, the maker of Payday and Zero, was purchased from Sara Lee by Huhtamäki Oyj and became part of Leaf, Inc. In 1989, the Heath bar was also purchased by Leaf. By the 1990s, Leaf had become one of the world’s top ten confectionery companies; it was especially strong in non-chocolate products such as pastilles and chewing gum and by 1993, Leaf was the fourth largest candy producer in North America before finally being purchased by Hershey’s Candy.
Making their official debut at the 2011 Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago May 24 – 26, members of the Leaf family assembled together once again to revive the Leaf name and its famous image. LEAF Brands™ have been synonymous with high-quality and exciting new products and the company is now working on bringing more nostalgic products back to the candy market, as well as launching fun new products. Currently they make Farts® Candy, Astro Pops®, tart n’ tinys® , Wacky Wafers™, Hydrox™ Cookies™, Bonkers!™ and David’s “Beyond Gourmet”® jelly beans products.
“As a big fan of Astro Pops®, I was so unhappy that Spangler stopped producing the pop that I decided to buy the rights and re-introduce the brand,” said Ellia Kassoff, CEO of Astro Pop®, LLC. “The product had a huge following for over 40 years.
Farts® Candy – Flavorful chewy candy nuggets in all kinds of fruity and sours flavors that are so fun they’ll make you laugh!’ These candies were the brain child of David Klein the creative mind behind Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. With David’s idea and Leaf Brand’s business know-how, the brand took off and is now one of Leaf’s most popular candy products.
Astro Pops® were developed in the 1960’s by two NASA rocket scientist, hoping to create a candy that would represent the space program. The conical rocket shaped lollipop is three flavors and colors stacked to top of each other; pineapple, passion fruit, and cherry. In September of 2004, Spangler discontinued Astro Pop®. Leaf Brands, seeing a huge potential market and being a long time fan of the Pop decided to bring it back! The classic Astro Pop® original formula made this Lollipop an instant success.
tart n’ tinys® are small, fruit-flavored candies, which were distributed by Nestlé USA under the Wonka brand. tart n’ tinys® come in five colors, purple (grape), yellow (lemon), orange (orange), red (cherry), and green (lime).
The original incarnation of tart n’ tinys® candies were small cylinders of compressed dextrose. The candy had a chalky appearance and consistency, with a firm crunch that would crumble in the mouth, similar to SweeTarts or Smarties. Along with Nerds and Wacky Wafers™, tart n’ tinys® were top sellers for the Wonka Company, but in the 1990s the original candies were discontinued. A short time later, Wonka introduced Candy-coated tart n’ tinys®, identical candies with a brightly colored candy coating. This candy was then marketed simply as tart n’ tinys®. While the original version was hard in texture, a soft and chewy version of tart n’ tinys® was recently introduced, titled Chewy tart n’ tinys®, that has the same candy coating but with a chewy center. tart n’ tinys® were off the market for a number of years before being brought back by leaf brands in 2014.
David’s “Beyond Gourmet”® jelly beans Product Line: Leaf Brands has partnered with the inventor of the Jelly Belly, David Klein, to bring you David’s “Beyond Gourmet”® jelly beans and Chocolates. It’s the first confectionary product of its kind: blending exotic cuisine and luxury candy.
Hydrox™ Cookies: Hydrox™ is the original creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookie! It debuted in 1908 and was manufactured by Sunshine Biscuits. Sunshine Biscuits was purchased by Keebler in 1996, and in 1999, Keebler replaced Hydrox™ with a similar but reformulated product named Droxies. Keebler was later acquired by Kellogg’s in 2001. Kellogg’s removed Droxies from the market in 2003.
Leaf Brands is proud to bring back the original sandwich cookie, Hydrox™! Yep, it predated Oreo and was always free of animal fats. The new Hydrox™ release will be exactly the way you remember it, circa 1908 to 1999. It will taste like the original Hydrox™ you remember; less sweet than the others and those amazing crispier cookies! Look for them in Early 2015.
Wacky Wafers™: Wacky Wafers, originally part of the The Willy Wonka Candy Company line are about the size of an American half dollar coin and come in five flavors; banana, green apple, watermelon, orange and strawberry. Originally, they were sold in a clear plastic wrapper, appearing as a long strip of multi-colored wafers. Later, they were produced in a smaller version, about the size of a bottle cap, which came in a box filled with the miniature fruit-flavored snacks. Wacky Wafers were discontinued as part of the regular product line when Nestlé purchased the Willy Wonka brand.
Bonkers!™: Bonkers!™, originally a candy offering from Nabisco in the mid-1980s, consisted of chewable rectangular shaped candies with a fruity outside and an even fruitier filling. Common flavors included grape, orange, strawberry, watermelon and chocolate.