Watkins Incorporated

  • Overview

Watkins has a nose for natural personal care products. Through its apothecary, natural home care, and gourmet divisions, the company makes and markets more than 400 natural products. Its products portfolio includes body lotions and bath salts, organic dish soaps and bathroom cleaners, organic black pepper, and vanilla extracts. Watkins distributes its products in the US, Canada, the UK, and the Philippines. The natural products developer and marketer sells its items through retailers the likes of TargetWal-Mart, and Whole Foods, as well as through its website. Owned by chairman Irwin L. Jacobs since 1978, Watkins' roots go way back to the 1860s.

Geographic Reach

Watkins, which sells its products worldwide, maintains a headquarters office and manufacturing and distribution facilities in Minnesota. It distributes its products in the US, Canada, the UK, and the Philippines and has branch offices in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and England.

Sales and Marketing

The company relies on a variety of retailers, such as specialty retailers, pharmacies, grocery stores, health food stores, drug stores, and gift shops, to get its products in the hands of consumers. Typical retail partners include Fred Meyer, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Safeway, Stop N Shop, Target, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods.


The company continues to focus on its core products. Watkins still sells its first product -- Original Liniment -- which soothes muscle aches. To build on its expertise in making spices, soaps, and perfumes, Watkins in recent years has expanded its products portfolio. 

To provide its customers with a healthier alternative to iodized salt, the company sells a coarse sea salt grinder. It also serves the natural home cleaning products market with its J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care line, named after the founder of the company. 

Company Background

The company's early success came from manufacturing spices and natural medicinal products, such as salves, soaps, and perfumes.

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Watkins Incorporated

150 Liberty St
Winona, MN 55987-3707
Phone: 1 (507) 457-3300
Fax: 1 (507) 4526723


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman: Irwin Jacobs
  • President: Mark Jacobs
  • VP, Operations: Jim Yenish

Major Office Locations

  • Winona, MN