Softgel Capsules Market (By Type: Non-Animal-Based, Gelatin-Based/Animal-Based; By Application: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Antacid and Anti-Flatulent Preparation, Antibiotic and Antibacterial Drugs, Cough and Cold Preparations, Anti-Anemic Preparations, Vitamin and Dietary Supplement, Health Supplement, Pregnancy; By End-use) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2024-2033

The global softgel capsules market size surpassed USD 8.71 billion in 2023 and is estimated to hit around USD 17.19 billion by 2033 with a CAGR of 7.03% from 2024 to 2033.

Softgel Capsules Market Size 2024 to 2033

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Key Takeaways

  • North America led the market with the largest market share of 43% in 2023.
  • By type, the gelatin-based/animal-based segment has accounted biggest market share in 2023.
  • By application, the vitamins and dietary supplements segment held the largest share of the market in 2023.
  • By end-use, the nutraceutical companies segment has contributed more than 38% of market share in 2023.

Softgel Capsules Market Size in the U.S. 2024 To 2033

The U.S. softgel capsules market size was valued at USD 2.81 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to reach around USD 5.54 billion by 2033, poised to grow at a CAGR of 7.10% from 2024 to 2033.

U.S. Softgel Capsules Market Size 2024 to 2033

North America led the global market with the highest market share of 43% in 2023. and observed to sustain the dominance during the forecast period owing to the presence of major manufacturers. These manufacturers have adopted various types of strategies to remain competitive in the market including product launches, acquisition, expansion, collaboration, investment and others.

  • For instance, in April 2022, The Vaccine production and Innovation Centre UK Limited (VMIC Ltd.) biologics development and production facility was acquired by Catalent. The facility will strengthen Catalent's expertise in the field of biologics. It is currently under development in Oxford, UK. To complete construction and outfit, the facility with state-of-the-art capabilities, Catalent has laid out its strategic strategy to invest up to USD 160 million.

Moreover, North America has a strong consumer focus on health and wellness, driving the demand for dietary supplements, vitamins, and other health-promoting products encapsulated in softgel form.

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

The Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the softgel capsules market during the forecast period. Its fast expansion may be attributed to a number of causes, including the large number of generic medication producers in China and India, the rising need for affordable treatments, the quickly improving economic conditions, and the rise in contract manufacturing organizations within the area. Increased spending on customized treatment and the use of advanced processing techniques to enhance softgel manufacturing are also anticipated to propel regional market expansion.

Softgel Capsules Market Overview

Softgel capsules, also known as soft gelatin capsules or softgels, are a type of oral dosage form used to encapsulate and deliver liquid or semi-solid substances in a convenient and easily ingestible form. They consist of a gelatin-based outer shell, typically composed of gelatin, plasticizers, and water, which encloses the active ingredients. The softgel capsules market offers materials for applications of softgel capsules including the delivery of vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, essential oils, pharmaceuticals, and nutritional supplements. The versatility of softgel capsules makes them a popular choice for formulating a wide range of products in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries.

Growth Factors

  • Softgel capsules are known for their ease of swallowing, making them a preferred choice for consumers who may have difficulty swallowing tablets or prefer a more convenient form of medication or supplementation.
  • Softgel capsules can enhance the bioavailability of certain active ingredients by providing better solubility and absorption. This is particularly advantageous for drugs or supplements with poor water solubility. This factor promotes the softgel capsules market’s growth.
  • The pharmaceutical sector's growth, driven by increasing healthcare needs and advancements in drug development, has positively influenced the demand for softgel capsules. Pharmaceutical companies use softgels for drug delivery to improve patient compliance.
  • Ongoing research and development in formulation technologies contribute to the growth of the softgel capsules market. Advances in encapsulation techniques, materials, and equipment improve the efficiency and quality of softgel production.

Softgel Capsules Market Scope

Report Coverage Details
Growth Rate from 2024 to 2033 CAGR of 7.03%
Global Market Size in 2023 USD 8.71 Billion
Global Market Size by 2033 USD 17.19 Billion
U.S. Market Size in 2023 USD 2.81 Billion
U.S. Market Size by 2033 USD 5.54 Billion
Base Year 2023
Forecast Period 2024 to 2033
Segments Covered By Type, By Application, and By End-use
Regions Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa

Softgel Capsules Market Dynamics

Driver: Growing need for softgel capsules in specialty & preventive healthcare

The softgel capsules market, especially in the nutritional supplement industry, is being driven by the rising awareness of health issues and the growing importance of preventative healthcare. The ageing population worldwide is a major factor in this since senior people frequently need medications and nutrients in an easily absorbed and easy form.

As a result, softgel capsules that address common health issues including menopause, vitamin deficiencies, eye health, and others have seen a noticeable increase in demand. Many softgel capsule manufacturers have responded to this increased demand by creating customized solutions that are meant to meet these particular health demands. Furthermore, the demand for these specialty softgel capsules is anticipated to continue growing in the predicted years due to the rising incidence of certain health issues.

Restraint: Cost and preference of substitutes

Gelatin, which comes from animal collagen, is the main ingredient in softgel capsules. Variations in the price and availability of gelatin can have an effect on softgel capsule production costs, which can have an effect on pricing and profit margins. Furthermore, softgel capsules are not the only dosage form options; tablets, hard capsules, gummies, and liquid formulations are all competitive options. Thus, this is expected to hamper the softgel capsules market over the forecast period.

Opportunities: Growing trends of plant-based softgels

The increasing expenditures in the manufacturing of plant-based softgels are anticipated to fuel the growth of the softgel capsules market globally. Because these medications do not contain any animal products, they can be used by a wider range of patients. Plant-based softgels are easier for the body to absorb and don't include any undesirable components. They are also free of allergens like gluten and eggs, which makes them a great alternative for medication for those who avoid consuming anything that comes from animals.

  • For instance, one of the top contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDO) specializing in nutraceuticals, Sirio Europe (SIRIO), announced in August 2023 the launch of two new softgels aimed at the rising consumer segment that prefers natural actives.

Type Insights

The gelatin-based/animal-based segment held the dominating share of the softgel capsules market in 2023. Gelatin provides softgel capsules with flexibility and elasticity. This property allows the capsules to withstand handling, transportation, and potential deformation without breaking or cracking. Moreover, gelatin-based softgel capsules have excellent sealing capabilities.

The gelatin shell effectively encapsulates liquid or semi-solid contents and prevents leakage, ensuring the stability and integrity of the encapsulated material. Furthermore, the growing gelatin-based product grant by regulatory bodies is anticipated to propel the segment growth over the projected period.

  • For instance, in April 2023, The U.S. Patent Office granted a patent to Rousselot, a Darling Ingredients brand, protecting its intellectual property rights for StabiCaps, a unique gelatin designed to stabilize softgel capsules and improve the release of active ingredients or pharmaceuticals. Crosslinking, a typical problem with softgels that inhibits dissolving and causes a delayed or partial release of nutrients or medicinal components within a capsule, is addressed with StabiCaps.

When softgels are subjected to certain active ingredients or unfavorable storage circumstances, crosslinking takes place, which results in the formation of molecular linkages inside the capsule shell. The breakdown is impeded by these molecular connections.

Besides, the non-animal-based capsules segment is expected to grow at a rapid rate over the projected period in the softgel capsules market. Non-animal-based softgel capsules cater to consumers who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, addressing ethical and dietary preferences. These capsules are free from animal-derived gelatin, making them suitable for a broader range of dietary lifestyles.

The growing product offering by the market players propels the expansion of the market. In April 2023, a prominent producer of flavors, excipients, and functional ingredients for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and dietary supplements, IFF announced the introduction of a new pectin-based technology that will further broaden its line of vegan softgels. With the launch of VERDIGELTM SC, producers of vegan softgels may now provide carrageenan-free goods, which are highly sought after in several sectors.

Application Insights

The vitamins and dietary supplements segment stood as a dominating segment of the softgel capsules market in 2023. When vitamins are made into pills or candies, they are vulnerable to oxidation and destruction by the atmosphere. Therefore, softgel capsules are the ideal formulation option since they protect against oxidation and UV light, extending the shelf life of the product.

Research indicates that vitamins taken as softgel capsules enter the circulation faster than those taken as tablets. Because of these benefits, vitamins are mostly offered as softgel capsules, which has led to their significant market share in the application area. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a roughly 89% increase in vitamin C and D supplement sales in nations like the United States and India compared to 2019.

Besides, the health supplements segment is expected to grow at a rapid rate during the forecast period. The softgel capsules market continues to thrive as the demand for health supplements rises globally. Consumer preferences for easy-to-swallow, bioavailable, and convenient dosage forms contribute to the sustained growth of softgel capsules in the health and wellness sector. Manufacturers are continually exploring new formulations and incorporating innovative ingredients to meet the evolving needs of consumers in the health supplements market.

End-use Insights

The nutraceutical companies segment held the largest share of the m softgel capsules market in 2023. Nutraceutical companies often choose softgel capsules as a preferred dosage form for delivering bioactive ingredients. Softgels protect these sensitive compounds from degradation and enhance their bioavailability, ensuring effective delivery to the body. Moreover, they are widely used by nutraceutical companies to encapsulate vitamins and minerals. This includes individual vitamins (such as vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin A) and minerals (like calcium, magnesium, and zinc) or combinations in multivitamin formulations.

Softgel Capsules Market Share, By End-use, 2023 (%)

The pharmaceutical companies segment is expected to grow at a substantial rate in the softgel capsules market over the forecast period. Softgel capsules are easy to swallow, making them a patient-friendly dosage form. This is particularly important for pharmaceutical companies when developing medications for pediatric and geriatric populations, as well as for patients who may have difficulty swallowing traditional tablets or capsules. Thus, this is expected to drive the segment expansion.

Recent Developments

  • In May 2022, the launch of SOLFEROL Softgel Capsules, a line of reimbursed vitamin D3 medications, for the treatment of vitamin D insufficiency was announced by Windzor Pharma Ireland Ltd. This product has the broadest array of presentations available on the market, with two distinct strengths: 400 IU for treating expectant and nursing mothers and 20,000 IU for those with severe vitamin D3 deficiency.
  • In December 2023, Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Strides Pharma Science Limited announced the launch of Icosapent ethyl acid soft gel capsules, a product that refers VASCEPA. Strides, a multinational pharmaceutical producer, has granted an in-license for the medicine, which Amneal will begin marketing in the fourth quarter of 2023. An ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), isicosapent ethyl acid soft gel capsules, 0.5g and 1g, are recommended as a dietary supplement to lower triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe (≥ 500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia.

Softgel Capsules Market Players

  • CAPTEK Softgel International Inc.
  • Sirio Pharma Co., Ltd.
  • Fuji Capsule
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
  • EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • EuroCaps
  • Catalent, Inc.
  • Aenova Group
  • ProCaps Laboratories, LLC
  • Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredientss
  • Soft Gel Technologies, Inc.

Segments Covered in the Report

By Type

  • Non-Animal-Based
  • Gelatin-Based/Animal-Based

By Application

  • Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
  • Antacid and Anti-Flatulent Preparation
  • Antibiotic and Antibacterial Drugs
  • Cough and Cold Preparations
  • Anti-Anemic Preparations
  • Vitamin and Dietary Supplement
  • Health Supplement
  • Pregnancy

By End-use

  • Cosmeceutical Companies
  • Nutraceutical Companies
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Contract Manufacturing Organizations

By Geography

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

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the softgel capsules industry?
The global softgel capsules market size is expected to increase USD 17.19 billion by 2033 from USD 8.71 billion in 2023.
What is the growth rate of the softgel capsules industry?
The global softgel capsules market will register growth rate of 7.03% between 2024 and 2033.
Who are the prominent players operating in the softgel capsules market?
The major players operating in the softgel capsules market are CAPTEK Softgel International Inc., Sirio Pharma Co., Ltd., Fuji Capsule, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc., EuroCaps, Catalent, Inc., Aenova Group, ProCaps Laboratories, LLC, Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredientss, Soft Gel Technologies, Inc., and Others.
Which are the driving factors of the softgel capsules market?
The driving factors of the softgel capsules market are the growing need for softgel capsules in specialty & preventive healthcare and increasing healthcare needs and advancements in drug development.
Which region will lead the global softgel capsules market?
North America region will lead the global softgel capsules market during the forecast period 2024 to 2033.


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