The overall growth of the empty capsules market is largely driven by the growing adoption of capsule formulations among the growing geriatric population, the growth of the pharmaceutical market, increasing R&D activities & clinical trial studies, and advancements in capsule delivery technologies. Emerging markets, with their low manufacturing costs, are expected to present significant opportunities for players. Other areas of opportunity are the development of halal gelatin and vegetarian capsules.
The global empty capsules market is projected to reach USD 3.7 billion by 2026 from USD 2.6 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period.
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Gelatin accounted for the largest share of empty capsules market
Based on type, the empty capsules market is categorized into gelatin capsules and non-gelatin capsules. In 2020, gelatin capsules accounted for the largest share of 67.5% of the empty capsules market. The various advantages of gelatin capsules, such as rapid drug release, uniform mixing of drugs, and a barrier to atmospheric oxygen (preventing oxidation of drug molecules), make them a preferred choice for manufacturing capsule shells.
Immediate-release capsules accounted for the largest share of empty capsules market
Based on functionality, the empty capsules market has been segmented into immediate-release, sustained-release, and delayed-release capsules. In 2020, immediate-release capsules accounted for a major share of 72.2% of the empty capsules market. This is because immediate-release capsules are widely used to manufacture antibiotics, antibacterials, antacids, painkillers, inhalators, cold and cough drug preparations, and dietary supplements.
Antibiotic & antibacterial drugs accounted for the largest share of empty capsules market
Based on therapeutic applications, the empty capsules market is segmented into antibiotic & antibacterial drugs, dietary supplements, antacid & antiflatulent preparations, antianemic preparations (hematinic), anti-inflammatory drugs, cardiovascular therapy drugs, cough & cold drugs, and other therapeutic applications. The antibiotic & antibacterial drugs segment accounted for the largest share of 33.1% of the empty capsules market in 2020.
The dietary supplements segment is expected to witness the highest CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period. Factors such as increased health awareness and rising affordability in emerging countries (such as India, China, and Brazil), increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases, and increasing use of vitamin capsules due to their availability as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are contributing to the growth of this segment
Nutraceutical industry is the fastest-growing end user segment of the empty capsules market
Based on end users, the empty capsules market is segmented into the pharmaceutical industry, nutraceutical industry, cosmetic industry, and research laboratories. The pharmaceutical industry segment accounted for the largest share of 52.7% of the empty capsules market in 2020. The nutraceutical industry segment is expected to register the highest CAGR of 7.8% during the forecast period. The rising demand for nutraceutical products to prevent the occurrence of lifestyle-associated diseases (such as obesity, arthritis, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes) is supporting the growth of this segment
North America accounted for the largest share of the empty capsules market
Geographically, the market is dominated by developed countries across North America and Europe, which account for ~65.6% of the global market. North America accounted for the largest share of 37.4% of the global market. The dominance of the North American region can be attributed to the existing presence of major capsule manufacturers with large production capacities, along with the presence of a number of pharmaceutical giants with large production capacities utilizing these capsules. The growing emphasis on superior pharmaceutical products and generics has also led to increased demand for empty capsules. The emerging markets across the Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to grow at robust CAGRs during the forecast period. With significant growth in pharmaceutical manufacturing in the past few years, China and India have emerged as high-growth markets for empty capsules.
The prominent players operating in this market are Capsugel (US), ACG Worldwide (India), Qualicaps (US), Suheung Co. Ltd. (Korea), CapsCanada Corporation (Canada) and others
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