Breaking News

Soft Soap Inventor Dies

September 12, 2013

Robert Taylor was 77.

Robert R. Taylor, the father of liquid soap, died. He was 77. In 1978, his company, Minnetonka, introduced Softsoap, after Taylor grew frustrated with the mess caused by disintegrating soap bars. According to the Harvard Business Review, Taylor thwarted the multinationals by purchasing a year's worth of pumps—100 million of them—from the only manufacturers in the US. The move bought Taylor time as it was more than a year before competitors could match his product.

Later, in 1985, Taylor worked with designer Calvin Klein to introduce Obsession, a fine fragrance that shot to fame based on its steamy ad campaign.

In 1987, Minnetonka sold Village Bath, Softsoap and Sesame Street Bath Products brands to Colgate-Palmolive. Unilever bought the rest of the company two years later for $376 million. Taylor went on to found Graham Webb International, which sells beauty products to salons. He sold it in 2001 to Wella.

The Institute for Entrepreneurship at Miami University inducted Taylor into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2012.

Related End-User Markets:

  • What’s Up with Brexit?

    What’s Up with Brexit?

    March 9, 2017
    During In-Cosmetics, industry experts from the CTPA will weigh in on what’s ahead for the beauty industry.

  • Discourse on Disclosure

    Discourse on Disclosure

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 6, 2017
    Transparency impacts the cleaning industry.

  • The Top Stories of 2016

    The Top Stories of 2016

    December 26, 2016
    The companies and topics that grabbed headlines and your attention this year.

  • The Green Dot

    The Green Dot

    John Kim and Lambros Kromidas, PhD*, Shiseido Americas||March 1, 2017
    Insights into one of the most used trademarks in the world.

  • An Essential Read

    An Essential Read

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    Industry expert Nadim Shaath takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the history and the future of essential oils.

  • Sustainability, Brexit and AI Are in Focus at In-Cosmetics

    Sustainability, Brexit and AI Are in Focus at In-Cosmetics

    March 1, 2017
    In-Cosmetics Global 2017 will take place in London, April 4-6, 2017