Empty capsules are made from gelatin, which is derived from animal protein (pork skin, animal bones & skin and fish bones) and plant polysaccharides or their derivatives (HPMC, starch, pullulan and others). These empty capsules are made in two halves: a lower-diameter “body” that is filled with various drug dosage forms and then sealed using a higher-diameter “cap”. Empty capsules are conventionally used as a dosage form for both prescription and OTC drugs, herbal products and nutrient supplements (either in powder or pellets form). In addition, empty capsules are also used for filling liquids and semi-solid dosage forms, especially for drugs that have low bioavailability, poor water solubility, critical stability, low dose/high potency and low melting points. Empty capsules offer some advantages over soft-gelatin capsules such as constant capsule dimensions and low sensitive to oxygen permeability. Also, these capsules can be manufactured in small batches and can be developed and manufactured in-house. In this report, the global empty capsules market has been segmented on the basis of product type, raw material, size of capsules, route of administration, end user and region.
Market Value and Forecast
The global empty capsules market has been estimated to be valued at US$ 1,432.6 Mn by 2016 end and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.3% over the forecast period (2016–2026).
Growth of the global empty capsules market is expected to be driven by rising adoption of vegetarian-based empty capsules by pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals companies. Other major factors expected to fuel growth of the empty capsules market include increasing demand from Muslim population countries for halal-based capsules as well as increasing adoption of vegetarian empty capsules by vegan groups. Globally, majority of empty capsules manufacturers are expected to invest more on technological advancements and better product designs to attract customers.
Market Segmentation By Product Type
Based on product type, the market has been segmented into gelatin (hard)-based capsules and vegetarian-based capsules. Demand for vegetarian-based empty capsules is expected to increase significantly in the global empty capsules market over the forecast period. Vegetarian-based capsules are costlier than gelatin-based capsules.
Market Segmentation By Raw Material
Based on raw material, the market has been segmented into type-A gelatin (pork skin), type-B gelatin (animal bones & calf skin), fish bone gelatin, hydroxy propyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), starch materials and pullulan. Type-B gelatin (animal bones & calf skin) segment currently accounts for highest revenue share of the empty capsules market. HPMC segment is forecast to be the most attractive segment in the global empty capsules market. Fish bone gelatin segment is expected to register high Y-o-Y growth throughout the forecast period.
Market Segmentation By Capsule Size
Based on capsule size, the market has been segmented into size ‘000’, size ‘00’, size ‘0’, size ‘1’, size ‘2’, size’3’, size ‘4’ and size ‘5’. Size ‘3’ capsules segment is expected to register high Y-o-Y growth throughout the forecast period. Size ‘0’ segment is forecast to be the most attractive segment in the global empty capsules market over the forecast period. In terms of value, size ‘0’ capsules segment accounted for the highest share in 2015 and is anticipated to remain dominant throughout the forecast period.
Market Segmentation By Route of Administration
Based on route of administration, the market has been segmented into oral administration and inhalation administration. Oral administration segment is forecast to be the most attractive segment in the global empty capsules market. In terms of revenue contribution, oral administration segment is anticipated to remain dominant during the forecast period.
Market Segmentation By End User
Based on end user, the market has been segmented into pharmaceuticals companies, cosmetics & nutraceuticals companies and clinical research organisations (CROs). Demand for empty capsules from pharmaceuticals companies is expected to increase over the forecast period.
The global empty capsules market has been segmented into seven major regions: North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), Japan and the Middle East & Africa (MEA). In terms of value, the North America empty capsules market is estimated to dominate the global empty capsules market in 2016, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.3% over the forecast period. APEJ, Latin America and MEA are estimated to be the fastest growing markets over the forecast period. In terms of value, the APEJ market is expected to register a CAGR of 12.1% over 2016–2026. Vegetarian-based capsules segment in the APEJ empty capsules market is expected to register a CAGR of 17.0% over the forecast period, driven by increasing adoption of vegetarian-based empty capsules in the region.
Some of the key players in the global empty capsules market included in the report are Capsugel, ACG Worldwide, CapsCanada Corporation, Roxlor LLC, Qualicaps, Inc., Suheung Co., Ltd., Medi-Caps Ltd., Sunil Healthcare Ltd., Snail Pharma Industry Co., Ltd. and Bright Pharma Caps, Inc.. The report also identifies company-specific strategies related to product development and market consolidation initiatives and analysis of the concerned company’s specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.