Ed Taylor (1920-1988)
Ed Taylor (1920-1988) was the first Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director that had professional marketing expertise, and he implemented programs which were based on solid market research, resulting in moving an annual citrus crop that ranged from 108 million boxes when he started in 1963, to 235 million boxes in 1978. Taylor was responsible for creative marketing programs that included the iconic “Breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine” slogan, the Florida Sunshine Tree symbol – which is still in use today, hiring Anita Bryant to be the spokeswoman for Florida citrus which made Florida OJ the national breakfast beverage, establishing a School Marketing Program for Florida OJ and a foodservice program that included McDonald’s serving orange juice as part of its breakfast menu for the first time. He also marketed Florida grapefruit and frozen concentrated orange juice internationally through participation in a Third-Party Cooperation Plan with the United States Department of Agriculture (which still exists today). By the mid-1970s the Commission had 53 partnerships in 10 countries in Europe and Eastern Europe, eventually adding Scandinavia and Japan. His emphasis on marketing also led to the FDOC sponsoring the Sunshine Pavilion at Walt Disney World and the creation of the much-loved Orange Bird character. When Taylor stepped down in 1978, Florida citrus had one of the highest recognition factors in the food industry. His dedication to the Florida citrus industry and his strong, aggressive orange juice marketing program was developed and implemented with his oversight and “hands-on supervision” during a period of unparalleled growth in the industry. Under his leadership, Florida citrus became a staple in the American diet, and in diets in many other countries throughout the world as a result of his efforts.