Proven Leader in the Private Brand Products Industry
When retailers and institutions need private brand products, from hand soap to hand sanitizer, they come to Vi-Jon. Customers throughout world trust more than 100 years of industry experience and our dedication to quality products at a great price.
Whether you need products for retail, eCommerce or away from home channels we have a private label solution for you. Our track record of collaborative relationships speak for themselves.
Vi-Jon’s unique product solutions stem from our experience, our roots as an industry innovator and our commitment to sustainability. After a century of operation, Vi-Jon intuitively understands consumers and your customers’ shifting needs. Every process—from product design to delivery—is created with them in mind.
Our clients and their customers also benefit from 140 years of collective R&D experience and two state-of-the-art R&D facilities. They’re also supported by five manufacturing facilities and distribution centers in Missouri and Tennessee that push out millions of bottles a day.
One Tennessee plant has been recognized by the state for a more than 85 percent reduction of hazardous waste shipments. It’s also being reclassified from LQG (Large Quantity Generator) to CESQG (Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator) status. Vi-Jon’s vision for the future includes programs to utilize reusable materials, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce energy and water consumption at production facilities and achieve zero-landfill waste management at production facilities.
Vi-Jon’s high-quality products and customer service start with our people. More than 1,500 employees keep our production lines moving and our customers happy.
Vi-Jon’s experienced executives are here to guide us into another 100 years of innovation. Find out more about them here.
Explore our history to see how the past set the stage for today.
Founding and Early Days
Vi-Jon is founded in 1908 by John and Viola Burgess Brunner as the Peroxide Specialty Company. After a brief detour to Cincinnati, they brought the company home to St. Louis in 1912. It has been an institution in the city ever since. In 1933, the company expanded its operation and changed its name to Vi-Jon Laboratories, a combination of the Brunners’ names. The new name also inspired a new logo (violets and jonquils) found on the first successful line of cosmetics. By 1942, Vi-Jon’s sales exceed $1.1 million, with a company roster of 70 people.
Expansion and Private Label Leaders
In the 1960s, Woolworth’s starts stocking private brand products. Other national chains start to follow suit. Vi-Jon sees an opportunity in the market. Over the next decade, Vi-Jon diversifies its products. Instead of producing a single batch of Vi-Jon labeled product, the company produces 50 different batches. They’re labeled for a variety of retail chains. By 1979, Vi-Jon employs around 100 people and sales hit $5.5 million. Fast forward to 1984. Vi-Jon is rising to the top of the private brand industry, becoming the largest private brand producer of mouthwash, with nail polish remover and petroleum jelly close behind.
Continued Expansion and Germ-X
In 1992, Vi-Jon purchases a new plant on Page Avenue in St. Louis. Shortly afterward, a compounding section is added, executive offices are moved from the original plant and six production lines are running. Two years later, Vi-Jon purchases Hunt Products, a private brand manufacturer. The company also starts manufacturing antibacterial soap — the precursor to Germ-X. In 1997, Germ-X officially debuts. Moving into the next decade, Vi-Jon merges with another storied manufacturer, Tennessee-based Cumberland-Swan, doubling the size of the company.
A Century of Innovation
Vi-Jon celebrates 100 years of business in 2008. During that time, it has grown to five manufacturing and distribution centers in St. Louis and Smyrna, Tennessee. The following year, John G. Brunner, the third generation to run the family business, retires as CEO. In 2011, Gerald “Jerry” Bowe takes over as Vi-Jon Chairman and CEO. Soon after Bowe takes the reins, an efficient state-of-the-art million-gallon wastewater treatment plant at the Smyrna facility is completed.
Today, the focus on teamwork, innovation and success are still present as the company continues to produce high quality products for major retailers while also entering new categories.