GVR Report cover Softgel Capsules Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Softgel Capsules Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Gelatin-based/Animal-based, Non-animal-based), By Application, By End-use (Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical, Cosmeceutical, CMO), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Oct, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-637-3
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 136

Report Overview

The global softgel capsules market size was valued at USD 4.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.0% from 2021 to 2028. Ease of swallowing, odor and taste masking, improved absorption, enhanced bioavailability, high atmospheric stability are some of the advantages of softgel capsules. Advancement in manufacturing technology and introduction of new materials has added more features to the traditional capsules such as controlled drug release, tamper-evident, and formulation choice of potent APIS due to reduced degradation in stomach pH, appealing aesthetics, and longer shelf life.

Germany softgel capsules market, by type, 2018 - 2028 (USD Million)

In recent times, softgel manufacturers are focusing on developing non-gelatin-based capsules using plant-based polymers. Starch, HPMC, and gums such as Pullulan. Gelatin-free capsules satisfy the medicinal needs of vegetarians. Technical benefits of manufacturers and suppliers, and reduced animal stock waste is the leading advantage of non-gelatin-based capsules. Additionally, vegetable capsule launch by a company like Aenova, increased their sales revenue by a double-digit percentage. Eurocaps is developing a chewable softgel capsule that provides improved taste masking capacity. Other market leaders like Catalent, Roquette, are also developing vegan capsules to enhance market reach among the vegan population of the globe.  

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, most companies began research to develop oral vaccines. Interestingly, five companies around the world are developing orally administered anti-SAR-CoV 2 vaccines and 2 companies, Immunity Bío and Vaxart have moved to the clinical trial phase. Softgel capsules leader, Catalent, collaborated with a leading clinical-stage immunotherapy company, to fulfill the alarming needs of oral vaccines. Additionally, studies are undertaken to determine whether the administration of vitamin D capsules reduces the severity of mild and severe respiratory discomfort associated with SAR-Cov-2 virus infection. The pandemic differently impacted the nutraceutical industry and the pharmaceutical industry.

The nutraceutical industry saw a rise during this period due to improved vitamin, nutrients, and other health supplement consumption. Product launches by growing nutraceutical companies using special capsule designs, and increased adoption of vegan and vegetarian-based capsule options have led to the demand for nutraceuticals. Adoption of a healthier lifestyle surged the vitamin capsules market and demographic shift towards the geriatric population.

However, the pharma industry witnessed a dip in the capsules segment. Reduced demand and supply of capsules, reduction in elective medical procedures and medication needed for the same, and increased demand for selective OTC drugs impacted the pharma capsules market. Despite the slightly negative impact during the pandemic, the market is said to boost in 2022. Rise improved research to develop capsules for potent and critical drug molecules to overcome bioavailability issues, development of capsules for drugs needing multi excipients like oncology medicines, and patient preference towards capsules than other oral dosage forms, are the factors influencing market growth.

Application Insights

The vitamins and dietary supplements segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 26.1% in 2020. Vitamins are prone to atmospheric oxidation and degradation when formulated as tablets or gummies. Hence, softgel capsules are the best formulation choice, as it protects for from UV radiation and oxidation ultimately improving its shelf life. Studies suggest that vitamins when administered in softgel capsule form are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream than a tablet formulation. Owing to such advantages, vitamins are majorly sold in the softgel capsule form, establishing its large market size in the application segment. Interestingly, the segment registered the highest CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period. Due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, countries like the USA or India, witnessed a rise in sales of Vitamin C and D, by approximately 89.0% from 2019.

Health supplements held the second position in the application segment due to increased adoption of healthy lifestyles among masses to tackle the pandemic. Wide acceptance of pre- and post-natal capsules, and inclination towards tasteless medication, led to the increase in sales of softgel capsules, enhancing pregnancy market growth. Anti-biotic and antibacterial drugs, antacid and anti-flatulent preparations, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-emetic preparations, and cough and cold preparations, established descending market share, respectively.

Manufacturer Insights

The nutraceutical segment accounted for the largest share of 37.6% in 2020. Nutraceutical companies mainly focus on developing vitamins, minerals, and health supplements. Thus, softgel formulation is largely developed to keep up the rising need for nutraceutical products. The formulations segment accounted for nearly 31% of the total revenue of most nutraceutical manufacturers. Increasing awareness of health supplements among developing nations, a growing number of production houses, and surge in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to its high growth and large market share. Pharma established the second largest share in this segment due to increased collaboration with SMEs and outsourcing of softgel capsules, which directly influenced the growth of the Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) segment. The growing need for skin and hair care products have surged the softgel capsule production in the cosmeceutical market.

Type Insights

The gelatin-based/ animal-based segment dominated the market accounted for the largest share of 72.8% in 2020. Over 80 years, gelatin is the choicest excipient of manufacturers due to its unparallel advantages over any other excipient. Ease of digestion, tamper-evident capsule production, superior mechanical resistance and seal quality, patient compliant, abundant resource availability, inert, and clean label raw material, are the factors responsible for its wide acceptance in the market.  

Global softgel capsules market, by type, 2020 (%)

Now-a-days, manufacturers are developing capsules using a combination of bovine and porcine gelatin due to their unique properties. Gelatin extracted from bovine enhanced capsule firmness and that from porcine provides plasticity and clarity characteristics to the formulation. Despite the advantages of gelatin-based capsules, non-animal-based capsules showcased a high CAGR of 10.2% during the forecast. Inclination towards vegan options for medication especially post-outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased adoption by vegetarian consumers, and growing research by leading market players, is likely to boost the softgel capsules market growth.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 29.1% in 2020. Improved production technology, presence of major players within the region, and increased expenditure on R&D to widen their product portfolio. Additionally, the presence of health-conscious consumers and the presence of pharma leaders in the region are the leading factors responsible for the largest market share. However, APAC is established to be the fastest-growing market at a CAGR of 9.6%. The enormous presence of generic medicine manufacturers in China and India, increasing demand for cost-efficient therapeutics, rapidly growing economical conditions, and rise in contract manufacturing organizations within the region, are factors responsible for its high growth. The rise in personalized medicine expenditure and adoption of high-tech processing to improve the production of softgels, is likely to boost the market in Europe.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is highly fragmented due to the presence of contract manufacturers and SMEs across the globe. Outsourcing of softgel capsules is the leading trend adopted by large manufacturers, reducing their burden of equipment expenditure, ensuring a competitive sales price to adhere to the competitive market. Research to develop capsule in capsules, tablets in capsules, and controlled release medication for critical drugs, is undertaken by market leaders to strengthen their product portfolio and maintain market position. Some of the prominent players in the softgel capsules market include:

  • Fuji Capsules Co Ltd

  • Sirio Pharma

  • Captek

  • Patheon

  • Catalent

  • Eurocaps

  • Aenova

  • Capsugel

  • Procaps Laboratories

  • Soft gel Technologies Inc.

Softgel Capsules Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 4.7 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 9.1 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 9.0% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Type, application, manufacturer, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; Norway; Sweden; Russia; Japan; India; China; Australia; South Korea; Thailand; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; UAE; Turkey

Key companies profiled

Fuji Capsules Co Ltd.; Sirio Pharma; Captek; Patheon; Catalent; Eurocaps; Aenova; Capsugel; Procaps Laboratories; Soft gel Technologies Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional, and segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global softgel capsules market report on the basis of type, application, manufacturers, and region:

  • Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Gelatin-based/Animal-based

    • Non-animal-based

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Antacid and anti-flatulent preparations

    • Anti-anemic preparations

    • Anti-inflammatory drugs

    • Antibiotic and antibacterial drugs

    • Cough and cold preparations

    • Health supplement

    • Vitamin and dietary supplement

    • Pregnancy

  • Manufacturers Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Pharmaceutical Companies

    • Nutraceutical Companies

    • Cosmeceutical Companies

    • Contract Manufacturing Organization

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • Norway

      • Sweden

      • Russia

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • Australia

      • South Korea

      • Thailand

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • Turkey

      • UAE

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