Capsules & Health Ingredients

Market Trends

The pharmaceutical market is robust and largely acyclic, with high qualification and registration requirements. Pharmaceutical companies are currently looking to strengthen supply chains of raw materials with redundancies, manage increasingly tighter compliance standards and innovate with greater dosage form functionality. Here, we support customers by addressing drug development and ingredient formulation challenges, as well as offering a long-lasting partnership throughout the complex pharmaceutical development process.

For the nutraceutical market, we anticipate slightly higher growth in hard empty capsules compared with the pharmaceutical market. The market looks set to strengthen in the longer term, as consumers increasingly focus on proactive health management. We deliver a tailored end-to-end product development and contract manufacturing service. This enables us to bring concepts to reality in a matter of weeks, to capture the rapid changes in consumer nutrition market trends.

We have seen a post-pandemic decline in demand in both the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. This has been driven by softer consumer demand for over-the-counter and preventative health treatments as well as customer destocking programs. However, we anticipate that demand will stabilize during 2024. Both markets are projected to grow at around 2 to 3% per year in the next five years1.

  1. Capacity Utilization figures from 2019, based on recent Kline & Co (Q4 2022) and Ascendant Mfr (Q2 2023) interviews

Our Offering

CHI is well-placed to increase its presence in both the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical segments, with strong customer service as well as manufacturing and automation expertise, delivered by multi-disciplinary teams that are skilled in delivering customized solutions from discovery and concept to commercialization. We also provide a portfolio of capsule filling equipment and supporting technical services to meet our customers’ fill and finish needs.

Broad Portfolio of Hard Empty Capsules

We offer a wide range of gelatin and plant-based Capsugel® capsule options with a variety of release profiles and encapsulation technologies. These are designed to meet evolving technical and regulatory requirements and market demands, such as vegetarian, vegan, organic and clean-label solutions. We have the largest global capsule manufacturing capacity in the world, with the capability to produce billions of capsules per year across our global production network. We supply customers in every major geographical region with standard and customizable capsules. In addition, we provide novel and functional capsules for increasingly complex and sensitive therapeutic requirements.


Product Offerings


Capsules and Dosage Delivery Form Patent Families


Ingredient Patent Families

Innovative Dosage Form Solutions

Our Dosage Form Solutions (DFS) business is built on our strong capsule expertise and provides our nutraceutical customers with an unmatched end-to-end contract manufacturing service. These dosage forms range from simple liquid formulations, using our proprietary liquid sealing technology, to complex multi-dose and timed-release systems. In 2023, we expanded our capacity by more than 15%. Alongside our formulation and encapsulation expertise, we also support our customers by co-creating finished products and providing product branding support.

Active Lifestyle Health Ingredients

We provide multiple science-backed health ingredients for the growing active lifestyle market. Our offering includes products that support healthy human nutrition, targeting global consumer trends including joint health, muscular strength, energy, endurance and weight management. Our portfolio includes premium brands such as UC-II® for joint health, Carnipure® for energy, and a range of other branded products targeting immune and digestive health.

Our Global Development and Manufacturing Footprint

Our Capsules and Health Ingredients (CHI) division offers high-quality capsules and encapsulation technology to the global pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. With a focus on process, product and service innovation, our network supports more than 7,000 customers with the design, customization and manufacture of hard empty capsules, capsule filling equipment, differentiated dosage form solutions and science-backed health ingredients. These are designed to meet evolving consumer requirements and patient needs. 

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  1. To be decommissioned by the end of 2024

2023 Highlights

Our 2023 highlights reflect our combined commitment to long-term collaborative partnerships, supported by continuing innovation and investment in process, product and service innovation.

Process innovation

Leveraging our in-house design, technical and engineering teams, we advanced the development of our next-generation proprietary hard empty capsule manufacturing technology. The installation of the first full production line was initiated in late 2023 and will be operational by Q1 2024. This new technology is set to increase individual line capacity by 15% while concurrently reducing weight and dimensional variability. It will also enable us to reduce our net carbon footprint and set a new product quality standard. Following the first line installation in 2024, we will prepare the roll out of this new technology across our manufacturing network in the coming years.

For our DFS customers, we have successfully extended our proprietary Liquid Encapsulation Microspray Sealing (LEMS®) technology to our Designed Release DRcaps® capsules to improve product quality and stability. Read more in the Innovation Spotlight section at the bottom of the page.

Financial Performance in Full-Year 2023

Comparison vs. Prior Year


Sales (CHF)





  1. Sales growth is at constant exchange rate (CER)

Product Innovation

2023 was the first full year since the launch of our enteric Enprotect® capsule in 2022. Enprotect® is a novel enteric delivery technology. This bi-layer capsule withstands degradation in the stomach to support targeted enteric drug delivery.

We are leveraging this proprietary bi-layer technology to provide capsules with additional improved mechanical properties. This provides a new approach to conventional methods that require additional coatings, which often alter the capsule dimensions and produce inconsistent filling performance. Our bi-layer technology provides unparalleled efficiencies for customers versus traditionally coated tablets or softgels, which require a series of costly coating and drying unit operations. We aim to support multiple applications such as live bio-therapeutic, complex, targeted release or sensitive therapies and we are already exploring more than 200 unique opportunities with our customers.

Personal Highlight

Christian Seufert

President, Capsules & Health Ingredients (CHI) Division

In Capsules & Health Ingredients, we improved customer satisfaction and advanced our innovation roadmap. We advanced the development of our next-generation hard empty capsule manufacturing technology and extended our proprietary capsule sealing technology to additional polymer formulations.

Service Innovation

We strive to create an exceptional customer experience, as part of our differentiated offering earning exceptional scoring on our customer satisfaction surveys in 2023. Our development teams collaborate closely with our customers enabling the design of fully customized capsules and formulations using science-backed health ingredients. This service is accelerated through digitalization, which is integrated across our “build your own capsule” app, our data-led manufacturing programs and our full-scale production campaigns. Our full suite of concept-to-market services in our DFS business deliver innovative products and we successfully increased our pipeline by 360% from 2022 to 2023 by offering novel dosage forms and unique combinations.

Innovation Spotlight

Our designed-released DRcaps® are innovative plant-based capsules that can help protect dietary supplement ingredients from stomach acidity1. Reducing manufacturing complexity and with a transparent, semi-opaque or fully opaque effect, they offer significant customer fill and finish benefits and end consumer appeal.

Discover More
1.  Source: DRCaps® Capsules Achieve Delayed Release Properties for Nutritional Ingredients in Human Clinical Study, 2014
2  Comparison of protection and release behavior of different capsule polymer combinations based on L. acidophilus survivability and function and caffeine release, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2021