Empty capsules are witnessing an adoption upsurge, owing to numerous factors such as limited number of competitors, growing demand from the pharmaceutical sector, standard margin level, and potential opportunities in vegan gelatin-based capsules. Further, faster uptake by the FDA and focus of market players on ramping up production capacity are key factors shaping the growth of the empty capsules market.
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Empty capsule manufacturers are progressively targeting specialty markets such as contract manufacturers, generic manufacturers, and pediatric drug manufactures. Increasing penetration of low-cost manufacturers in various countries, and supply contracts of life-saving essential drugs, primarily in developing and emerging countries, are further driving the empty capsules market.
The global empty capsules market is estimated to be valued at US$ 1.9 Bn in 2020, with the market expected to exhibit a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period (2020-2030). The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has so far claimed the lives of over 200,000 people and infected over 3 million, has forced several countries to declare nationwide lockdowns. This has disturbed supply chains in the empty capsules market, due to logistics paralysis. As such, the market is expected to witness a gradual decline in in 2020.
“Lower labour cost and abundant availability of raw materials are among the key factors driving the empty capsules market in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) and Western Europe. In addition, favorable regulatory ecosystem to establish empty capsule manufacturing businesses and lower taxation policies are propelling market growth in APAC.”
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Key Takeaways of Empty Capsules Market Study
- Greater focus on relieving pressure of supply chain due to demand gap is being tackled by ramping up production capacity; up-scaling is the fundamental strategy outlined for meeting demand in the empty capsules market.
- Vegetable capsules are the latest innovation and are expected to replace gelatin-based variants. Recently, hard gelatin manufacturers have begun increasing the production of vegetarian capsules at scale.
- South and East Asian pharmaceutical markets are expected to grow at twice the global average in terms of value, owing to population growth, rising incomes, and improved access to healthcare.
- The empty capsules market in China is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth, where per capita spending is anticipated to increase by over 70% in the coming five years.
- High upfront costs and lower margin levels in empty capsules have resulted in 10%-20% price hike in finished products, registering lower sales for animal-based gelatin products in the recent past.
- India, with almost 40% growth, is offering value-capture opportunities, owing to good patient recruitment, acceptable quality of services, reasonable cost-quality ratio, existence of regulatory agencies, high standards of care, larger population base, and low cost of labour.
- Companies manufacturing halal capsules are obtaining halal certification from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) to capture market shares in Muslim-dominated countries.
- The empty capsules market is consolidated, with leading manufacturers holding around 70% revenue share. Further, growing prominence of CMOs and large-scale gelatin manufacturers is anticipated to boost the growth engine.
- Higher volume handling by key players in comparison with local manufacturers, and higher production capabilities and price advantages over non-standard manufacturers, are expected to generate significant revenue pockets.
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Key Players Focus on Capacity Expansion, Strategic Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures to Widen Regional Presence
Leading players in the empty capsules market, such ACG Worldwide, Capsugel, Qualicaps, Inc., Bright Pharma Caps, Inc., and Roxlor LLC, are concentrating on business expansion through mergers, joint ventures, distribution agreements, and capturing untapped market potential.
- For example, in 2015, Capsugel increased the production of vegetarian-based capsules by investing US$ 25 Mn across its manufacturing sites.
- Empty capsule manufacturers are generating high returns from nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries by supplying non-animal or vegetarian empty capsules, with effective physical properties such as reduced moisture content, best suited for nutrient supplements and hygroscopic drugs.
- In similar context, empty capsule manufacturers are boosting substantial sales revenue from nutraceutical manufacturers by supplying vegetarian-based empty capsules coupled with fluid filling technology.
- Top manufacturers of hard gelatin capsules are expanding their production facilities through acquisitions.
- For instance, Qualicaps completed the acquisition of Genix Industria Farmaceutica Ltd., one of Brazil’s top hard empty capsule manufacturers. The acquisition permits the manufacturer to establish its operating sites in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Japan, and Romania.