Empty Capsules Market (By Type: Gelatin Capsules, Non-gelatin Capsules; By Functionality: Immediate-released, Sustained-released, Delayed-released, By Application: Antibiotics, Antacids, Anti-inflammatory, Cough; By End user: Pharmaceutical Companies, Nutraceutical Companies, Cosmeceuticals Companies, Research Laboratories) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2024-2033


The global empty capsules market size was valued at USD 3.14 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to reach around USD 6.01 billion by 2033, growing at a CAGR of 6.70% from 2024 to 2033. The rising demand for dietary supplements and the adoption of capsule-based drugs are driving the growth of the market.

Empty Capsules Market Size 2024 to 2033

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Key Takeaways

  • By region, North America led the empty capsules market with the largest market size in 2023.
  • By region, Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth in the market during the forecast period.
  • By product, the gelatin segment dominated the market in 2023.
  • By functionality, the immediate release segment is projected to witness the fastest growth in the market during the forecast period.
  • By application, the antibiotics & antibacterial segment dominated the market in 2023.
  • By end user, the pharmaceutical companies segment held the largest market share in 2023.

Empty Capsules Market Size in U.S. 2024 to 2033

The U.S. empty capsules market size was estimated at USD 770 million in 2023 and is projected to surpass around USD 1,470 million by 2033 at a CAGR of 6.76% from 2024 to 2033.

U.S. Empty Capsules Market Size 2024 to 2033

North America led the empty capsules market with the largest market size in 2023. The growth of the market in the region is attributed to the well-developed healthcare infrastructure and the rising number of pharmaceutical industries that led to the higher demand for empty capsules for drug packaging.

The increasing investments in research and development activities in the development of the pharmaceutical industry and for the latest drug launch drive the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry. The rising prevalence of chronic diseases in the population due to unhealthy lifestyles and the environment also contributes to the expansion of diseases and the demand for effective medicinal treatment. Thus, all these factors collectively contribute to the growth of the region's market.

  • In February 2022, CapsCanada, a Lyfe Group company, received approval for a liquid-filled aspirin capsule. This product is based on the PLxGuard drug delivery platform aimed at delivering drugs in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • In March 2023, an ACG company, Vantage Nutrition, acquired ComboCap Inc. in the U.S. and BioCap in South Africa, intending to expand their technology and footprint in North America and across the globe.

Empty Capsules Market Share, By Region, 2023 (%)

Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth in the empty capsules market during the forecast period. The growth of the market in the region is expected to increase due to the rising investments in healthcare infrastructural development by the regional governments. The rising population around the region is one of the major reasons for the expanding healthcare and pharmaceutical industry and the rising geriatric population that is more likely to get the illnesses and diseases that drive the demand for long-term, medicinal treatment, which is further propelling the demand for the empty capsules market in the region.

  • In July 2022, Akums Drug & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. received approval from the European Union (EU) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for their empty hard gelatin capsules manufacturing plants in Haridwar, India.

Empty Capsules Market Overview

Capsules are one of the types of medicines made from gelatin, cellulose, and polysaccharides. The capsule contains various types of drug formations, such as solid, liquid, and powder forms, that are made for swallowing. The drugs that are packed in the capsule may irritate the gastric mucosa and esophagus, volatilize easily, taste bad, decompose in saliva, or should be inhaled into the trachea. The packing of the active ingredient into the capsule prevents all these irritations and protects it from degradation and damaging organs and the respiratory tract. Based on consumer preference trends and clinical requirements, these capsules can be made soft and hard using a variety of materials.

  • According to an article published in the Nitta Gelatin India in June 2022, capsules are the second most preferred drug delivery format. They account for about 13% of the new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the immediate-release variety being the most commonly prescribed for treating a wide range of diseases and disorders.

Growth Factors

  • The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the rising adoption of capsule-based drugs are propelling the growth of the empty capsules market.
  • The rising global population, especially the geriatric population that is more likely to be prone to chronic diseases and illnesses, drives the demand for medication, which led to the rising demand for empty capsules for drug making or formulation.
  • The rising prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and gastrointestinal diseases are contributing to the expansion of the empty capsules market.
  • The rising investments by the public and private institutes for expanding the drug manufacturing units and the pharmaceutical industry are driving the growth of the market.
  • The rising demand for capsule drug delivery formulations to overcome various diseases drives the growth of the market.
  • The increasing investments in technological advancements in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries for better productivity and product quality are driving the growth of the empty capsules market.
  • The increasing rate of illness and disease among the population due to infections, and other mediums drives the demand for the drugs which has led to the rising demand for the empty capsules market.

Empty Capsules Market Scope

Report Coverage Details
Growth Rate from 2024 to 2033 CAGR of 6.70%
Global Market Size in 2023 USD 3.14 Billion
Global Market Size by 2033 USD 6.01 Billion
U.S. Market Size in 2023 USD 770 Million
U.S. Market Size by 2033 USD 1,470 Million
Base Year 2023
Forecast Period 2024 to 2033
Segments Covered By Type, By Functionality, By Application, and By End-user
Regions Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa


Empty Capsules Market Dynamics

Driver: Increasing adoption of capsule drug formation for disease as well as health supplements market

The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, etc., is driving the expansion of the drug market. The increasing adoption of the drug in capsule formation due to its better effects and easy intake drives the growth of the empty capsules market.

  • According to data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in July 2022, it is estimated that around 1.7 billion people globally suffer some form of musculoskeletal disorders. Of these, 528 million are cases of osteoarthritis.

Along with therapeutic applications, the rising consumption of dietary supplements by people who come in capsule drug form leads to the increased demand for empty capsules in the market. The rising awareness about healthy lifestyles and dietary supplements for healthy gut health and the removal of skin issues contribute to the growth of the empty capsules market.

  • According to an article published by M&R Label, in May 2022, around 77.0% of American adults consumed dietary supplements and spent an average of USD 56 per month on them.

Restraint: Shortage of raw materials and cost-related constraints

The shortage of raw materials, such as gelatin, and the fluctuating prices of the raw materials are restraining the growth of the empty capsules market. In adverse conditions like economic crises, deteriorating trade relationships, or global healthcare situations as faced during the COVID pandemic, there is an acute shortage of raw materials along with limited funds. As the capsule has little to no effect on the mechanism of the active ingredient, pharmaceuticals tend to sway away from capsule-based delivery. Moreover, a sudden surge in prices of raw materials in response to growing demand and a broken supply chain further hinders market growth.

  • According to Procurement Resource, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) was priced at USD 6,015.6/ Metric Ton in the first half of the Indian market.

Opportunity: The rising potential of the pharmaceutical sector

The rising investment by the major private and government institutions in the development of the pharmaceutical sector is contributing to the growth of the market. The increasing research and development activities in the expansion of the market, product launches, and the latest drug development enhance the demand for empty capsules for the storage of drugs inside it for better consumption by the consumers. Additionally, the integration of technologies in the pharmaceutical manufacturing units for the improvement in quality and production drives the growth opportunities for the empty capsules market.

  • In December 2022, Vantage Nutrition LLC, an ACG Group company, acquired Philadelphia-based AquaCap, an asset of Nestle Health Science. This acquisition aimed to expand Vantage Nutrition LLC's footprint and manufacturing capability.
  • In July 2022, Sunil Healthcare Limited's export revenues improved by 25.0% during FY22, coupled with better profitability and operating margins from HPMC capsules compared to others.

Type Insights

The gelatin segment dominated the empty capsules market in 2023. The growth of the segment is attributed to the rising use of the gelatine substance for capsule making due to its properties that drive demand for the segment. Water and gelatin are the two primary constituents of gelatin capsules. They are made from animal collagen, which is entirely different from those derived from plants.

Some types of gelatine capsules used in medicinal use are clear gelatin capsules, flavored gelatin capsules, and enteric-coated gelatin capsules. The gelatin capsules come in sizes of 5 to 000. Size 5 is the smallest size of the gelatin capsules, and size 000 is the biggest size of gelatin capsules. Each of them is used depending on the diameter of the capsules.

  • In May 2022, Capsugel launched a titanium dioxide-free (TiO2-free) white hard gelatin capsule, which meets the demand for titanium dioxide-free foods in the European Union.
  • In February 2023, Vivion, a brand of Operio Group, launched its new product range of empty gelatin, HPMC, and pullulan capsules.

Functionality Insights

The immediate release segment is projected to witness the fastest growth in the empty capsules market during the forecast period. The system of oral medication delivery comprises solid dose forms, including immediate release and traditional forms. For the past few decades, a variety of acute and chronic disease therapies have been used in traditional dosage forms, such as capsules, solids, pills, powder, solutions, emulsions, and aerosols.

Using super disintegrants such as sodium starch glycolate (Primogel, Explotab), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), etc., that enable rapid tablet disintegration after administration is the fundamental method employed in the development of immediate-release solid dosage forms. A variety of methods, such as direct compression and wet granulation, can be used to formulate it.

Application Insights

The antibiotics & antibacterial segment dominated the empty capsules market. The growth of the segment is attributed to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases and infectious diseases caused by bacteria. Antibiotics are a class of medications that are crucial for treating bacterial infections.

Medical practitioners utilize them to treat a variety of illnesses, including skin infections, urinary tract infections, meningitis, pneumonia, and strep throat. Some types of antibiotics used in the various symptoms of infections are Beta-lactam Antibiotics, Aminoglycosides, Sulfonamides, Quinolones, Macrolides, Nitroimidazole antibiotics, Tetracyclines, Lincosamides, Oxazolidinones and Lipoglycopeptides, and Glycopeptides.

End-user Insights

The pharmaceutical companies segment held the largest share in the empty capsules market. The growth of the segment is attributed to the increasing expenditure and investments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, which are driving the demand for the market the rising prevalence of chronic diseases that drives the demand for effective treatment and medication that drives the demand for empty capsules for the packing the drug which is on the form of power of liquid that contributed in the expansion of the empty capsules market. The increasing investments in the pharmaceutical industry by the public and private sectors are driving the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2024, West Wolf Medicinals announced the launch of vegan capsules with mushroom extracts. It is an organic-certified capsule. Cordyceps, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Lion’s Mane are 120 capsules packed in tin that are made from eco-friendly recycled aluminum by the consumer.
  • In November 2022, Lonza launched Enprotect, a new capsule solution designed to target the delivery of ingested acid-sensitive active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The launch of this product led to the expansion of the company’s product portfolio.
  • In January 2022 - Xi'an Le-Nutra Ingredients Inc. shipped 8.0 million HPMC capsules to Latvia, in Europe. These capsules were without titanium dioxide (TiO2), demonstrating the company’s efforts to meet the demand for the product in the region.

Empty Capsules Market Companies

  • ACG Worldwide
  • Bright Pharma Caps Inc.
  • CapsCanada Corporation
  • Lonza Group Ltd. (Capsugel)
  • Medi-Caps Ltd.
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (Qualicaps, Inc.)
  • Roxlor LLC
  • Snail Pharma Industry Co. Ltd
  • Suheung Co., Ltd
  • Sunil Healthcare Ltd.

Segments Covered in the Report

By Type

  • Gelatin Capsules
    • Bovine
    • Porcine
  • Non-gelatin Capsules
    • Hpmc
    • Pullulan

By Functionality

  • Immediate-released
  • Sustained-released
  • Delayed-released

By Application

  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cough

By End-user

  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Nutraceutical Companies
  • Cosmeceuticals Companies
  • Research Laboratories

By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the empty capsules industry?
The global empty capsules market size is expected to increase USD 6.01 billion by 2033 from USD 3.14 billion in 2023.
What is the growth rate of the empty capsules industry?
The global empty capsules market will register growth rate of 6.70% between 2024 and 2033.
Who are the prominent players operating in the empty capsules market?
The major players operating in the empty capsules market are ACG Worldwide, Bright Pharma Caps Inc., CapsCanada Corporation, Lonza Group Ltd. (Capsugel), Medi-Caps Ltd., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (Qualicaps, Inc.), Roxlor LLC, Snail Pharma Industry Co. Ltd, Suheung Co., Ltd, Sunil Healthcare Ltd., and Others.
Which are the driving factors of the empty capsules market?
The driving factors of the empty capsules market are the rising adoption of capsule-based drugs and increasing investments in technological advancements.
Which region will lead the global empty capsules market?
North America region will lead the global empty capsules market during the forecast period 2024 to 2033.

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