Empty Capsules Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The Empty Capsules Market is Segmented by Product (Gelatin Capsules and Non-gelatin Capsules), Functionality (Immediate-release Capsules, Delayed-release Capsules, and Sustained-release Capsules), Therapeutic Application (Antibiotic and Antibacterial Drugs, Vitamins and Dietary Supplements, Antacid and Antiflatulent Preparations, Cardiovascular Therapy Drugs, and Other Therapeutic Applications), End User (Pharmaceutical Industry, Nutraceutical Industry, Cosmetics Industry, and Research Laboratories), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, and South America). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Empty Capsules Market Overview
Study Period: 2018-2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 7.4 %

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Market Overview

The empty capsules market was valued at approximately USD 2,289 million in 2020, and it is expected to witness a revenue of USD 3,513 million in 2026, with a CAGR of 7.4% over the forecast period, 2021-2026.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is expected to positively impact the growth of the empty capsules market globally. As the development of strong immunity plays a vital role in fighting against viral infection, there has been an increasing demand for immunity boosters in the form of natural herbs and nutraceuticals. Apart from the basic hygienic practices, proper dietary and lifestyle behaviors are essential for the prevention and treatment of respiratory viral diseases, such as COVID-19. As per the research article published in 2020, every COVID-19 patient should be screened for malnutrition on admission and also need to assess for serum vitamin D levels. Additionally, in March 2020, Stabilitech BioPharma Ltd developed a new oral capsule for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic surges the demand for nutraceuticals, which in turn, is expected to boost the studied market.

The key factors that boost the growth of the market include a rise in popularity of capsules over other drug delivery forms and an increase in strategic collaborations between empty capsule suppliers and gelatin manufacturers. Also, the growing geriatric population worldwide increases the demand for various therapy drugs and dietary supplements for better health outcomes. According to the United Nations, World Population Prospects: the 2019 Revision, by 2050, one in six people in the world are likely to be over age 65 years, up from one in 11 in 2019. In addition, rapid advancements in capsule delivery technologies are set to supplement the market growth. However, ethical concerns, price fluctuations regarding gelatin materials, and stringent regulations in the pharmaceutical industry are expected to hamper the market growth.

Scope of the Report

Empty capsules are stable shells that contain or encapsulate medicines, which are administered in a variety of dosage forms. Empty capsules are the most common option to store herbs, powders, and medicines. The empty capsules market is segmented by product (gelatin capsules and non-gelatin capsules), functionality (immediate-release capsules, delayed-release capsules, and sustained-release capsules), therapeutic application (antibiotic and antibacterial drugs, vitamins and dietary supplements, antacid and antiflatulent preparations, cardiovascular therapy drugs, and other therapeutic applications), end user (pharmaceutical industry, nutraceutical industry, cosmetics industry, and research laboratories), and geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, and South America). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

By Product
Gelatin Capsules
Non-gelatin Capsules
By Functionality
Immediate-release Capsules
Delayed-release Capsules
Sustained-release Capsules
By Therapeutic Application
Antibiotic and Antibacterial Drugs
Vitamins and Dietary Supplements
Antacid and Antiflatulent Preparations
Cardiovascular Therapy Drugs
Other Therapeutic Applications
By End User
Pharmaceutical Industry
Nutraceutical Industry
Cosmetics Industry
Research Laboratories
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle-East and Africa
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa
South America
Rest of South America

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Key Market Trends

The Cardiovascular Therapy Drugs Segment is Expected to Witness a Healthy CAGR Over the Forecast Period

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are highly prevalent globally. According to the World Health Organization 2018, an estimated 17.9 million people die due to cardiovascular diseases worldwide each year, and the number is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Additionally, as per the American Heart Association Research Report 2018, cardiovascular disease, listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 836,546 deaths in the United States. This is nearly 1 out of every 3 deaths in the country. About 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, which is an average of 1 death every 38 seconds. Also, according to the British Heart Foundation Centre, in 2018, around 7.4 million people were living with heart and circulatory diseases in the United Kingdom. More than 43,000 people under the age of 75 years in the United Kingdom die from heart and circulatory diseases each year. The high incidence of cardiovascular diseases worldwide surges the demand for cardiovascular therapy drugs for effective treatment, which in turn, drives the growth of the studied market.

Additionally, during the current COVID-19 era, the American College of Cardiology and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society issued guidelines for the reintroduction of cardiac services during the pandemic, which includes home-based cardiac rehabilitation, aimed at providing exercise training, dietary counseling, medication management, tobacco cessation counseling, and psychosocial assessment interventions, as per the research article published in American College of Cardiology, 2021. Hence, the increase in cardiac rehabilitation sessions is expected to boost the studied segment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, in September 2019, Lupin received approval from the Canadian health regulator for its Propranolol Hydrochloride extended-release capsules used for the treatment of hypertension and decreased frequency of angina. The increasing product approvals are also expected to boost the studied segment over the forecast period.

Empty capsules are useful in masking the taste of cardiac therapy drugs. This prevents the patient from feeling nauseated. Hence, as the prevalence of CVDs increases, the demand for cardiac therapy drugs will also increase. This factor may positively impact the empty capsules market.


North America Holds a Significant Share in the Market and is Expected to do the Same over the Forecast Period

The major share for this region is due to the rising preference for capsule-based nutraceutical formulations. Since these nutraceuticals help in the prevention of major health problems, such as obesity, cancer, and arthritis, there has been an increase in the consumption of these nutraceuticals. Additionally, capsules are the most preferred solid oral dosage forms, and thus, the demand for empty capsules in the nutraceutical industry is high in this region.

Also, the growing burden of chronic diseases, along with the rising geriatric population in the United States, is considered to be the major factor for the growth of the studied market in North America. According to the Population Reference Bureau’s Population Bulletin-Aging in the United States, the number of Americans aged 65 years and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. Similarly, as per the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 2019 report, 77% of Americans reported consuming dietary supplements. Also, the survey revealed that vitamins and minerals were the most common supplements consumed by the American population in 2019, accounting for 76% of total dietary supplement consumption, followed by specialty supplements (40%), herbals and botanicals (39%), sports nutrition supplements (28%), and weight management supplements (17 %) in 2019.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the meat processing facilities were shut down, which limited the availability of gelatin. Additionally, due to the transport restrictions in the borders of various countries across the globe, North America is expected to be severely impacted on the supply chain of the gelatin capsule, which in turn, is expected to hamper the studied market growth in the region.

Moreover, the North American countries of the United States and Canada have a developed and well-structured healthcare system. These systems also encourage research and development. These policies encourage global players to enter the United States and Canada. As a result, these countries enjoy the presence of many global market players. As the high demand is met by the presence of global players in the region, the market is further expected to grow over the forecast period.


Competitive Landscape

The majority of the empty capsules are being manufactured by the global key players. Market leaders with more funds for research and a better distribution system have established their positions in the market. The empty capsules market is highly consolidated and consists of few major players. The key players of the market include ACG Worldwide, Medi-Caps Ltd, LonzaGroup (Capsugel), Capscanada Corporation, and Bright Pharma Caps Inc., among others. Moreover, Asia-Pacific is witnessing the emergence of few small and medium-sized players due to the rise in awareness of empty capsules. Additionally, the key players are involved in strategic alliances and new product launches to secure their positions in the competitive market. For instance, in October 2020, Lonza invested CHF 85 million in its Capsules and Health Ingredients (CHI) Division for the expansion of capsule manufacturing capacity by 30 billion capsules annually.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2021, CapsCanada, a Lyfe Group company announced the launch of a new liquid-filled hard capsule manufacturing service.
  • In August 2020, Dr. Reddy Laboratories received the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval for the launch of generic Penicillamine capsules, used for the treatment of Wilson’s disease and cystinuria, in the US market.
  • In April 2020, Qualicaps Europe expanded its presence in Middle-East and Africa after signing agency and distribution partnership agreements with a number of market-leading companies in the region.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Increasing Pharmaceutical Applications

      2. 4.2.2 Technological Advancements in Empty Capsules

      3. 4.2.3 Growing Geriatric Population

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Rising Gelatin Prices and Lower Availability of Raw Materials

      2. 4.3.2 Cultural Practices and Dietary Restrictions

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Product

      1. 5.1.1 Gelatin Capsules

      2. 5.1.2 Non-gelatin Capsules

    2. 5.2 By Functionality

      1. 5.2.1 Immediate-release Capsules

      2. 5.2.2 Delayed-release Capsules

      3. 5.2.3 Sustained-release Capsules

    3. 5.3 By Therapeutic Application

      1. 5.3.1 Antibiotic and Antibacterial Drugs

      2. 5.3.2 Vitamins and Dietary Supplements

      3. 5.3.3 Antacid and Antiflatulent Preparations

      4. 5.3.4 Cardiovascular Therapy Drugs

      5. 5.3.5 Other Therapeutic Applications

    4. 5.4 By End User

      1. 5.4.1 Pharmaceutical Industry

      2. 5.4.2 Nutraceutical Industry

      3. 5.4.3 Cosmetics Industry

      4. 5.4.4 Research Laboratories

    5. 5.5 Geography

      1. 5.5.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      2. 5.5.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.5.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. South Korea

        6. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.5.4 Middle-East and Africa

        1. GCC

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa

      5. 5.5.5 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 ACG Worldwide

      2. 6.1.2 Bright Pharma Caps Inc.

      3. 6.1.3 Capscanada Corporation

      4. 6.1.4 Lonza Group (Capsugel)

      5. 6.1.5 Medi-Caps Ltd

      6. 6.1.6 Qualicaps

      7. 6.1.7 Suheung Capsule Co. Ltd

      8. 6.1.8 Qingdao Yiqing Medicinal Capsules Co. Ltd

      9. 6.1.9 Shanxi Guangsheng Medicinal Capsules Co. Ltd

      10. 6.1.10 Healthcaps India Ltd

      11. 6.1.11 Nectar Lifesciences Ltd

      12. 6.1.12 Shanxi JC Biological Technology Co. Ltd

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability
**Competitive Landscape covers- Business Overview, Financials, Products and Strategies and Recent Developments

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Global Empty Capsules Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Global Empty Capsules Market is growing at a CAGR of 7.4% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

ACG Worldwide, Capscanada Corporation, Medi-Caps Ltd, Bright Pharma Caps Inc, Lonza Group(Capsugel) are the major companies operating in Global Empty Capsules Market.

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