Understanding Why Consumers Rank Capsules As a Favorite Delivery Form for Supplements

    A walk down the supplement aisle can blindside even the savviest consumer. The shelves are jam packed with choices, not just for supplements, but also how they are delivered. There are 20 different dosage forms, among them beverages, nutrition bars, shots, chewables, soft chews, gummy and gum. Tablets, of course.  And capsules.    

    So, which form is the best avenue for consumption?  The road that most consumers travel down remains capsules.  Each year, reports show that capsules are the preferred dosage form.  According to the 2013 Natural Marketing Institute’s Supplements Over-the-Counter Rx Data (SORD) study, capsules are the top choice for 48% of supplement users.[1]

    And for tried-and-true reasons. Capsules are simple to use as well as highly versatile and effective dosage forms for powders, liquids and solids.  

    Here is what you can tell your customers about the basic benefits of capsules.    

    Positively portable, conveniently clean. For people with hectic schedules—and that’s probably the majority of us—capsules fit easily into purses, pockets, sport bags, totes and briefcases. They can be taken quickly with water at any time. There’s no measuring of powders, mixing or waiting for dissolution.  There are no utensils to clean. There’s minimal tearing of packets and tossing out trash.

    Smooth swallowing. A dosage form that is easy to swallow is important to 76% of supplement users.  Research on consumer attitudes and preference reveal that capsules, including liquid-filled capsules, rank at the top for ease of swallowability and for not getting caught up in the throat.

    Mask odd odors and flavors. Hard capsules can hide bitter and pungent tastes and smells without the addition of artificial ingredients. These capsules are good for delivery of resveratrol, valerian root, garlic, and fish oils, especially krill, as examples.

    Clean label promise. Two-thirds of supplement users want supplements from natural sources and are willing to pay more for them. In addition, 44% are concerned over tainted or illegal ingredients in supplements, while 43% feel supplements free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are critical (54% among Millennials ages 15–35).  

    Capsules can deliver here, and all types of supplement brands are taking advantage of it. Capsules can be free of excipient binders, fillers.

    and disintegrants found in tablets. They also come without allergens, preservatives, artificial colorants, lactose and gluten. They can be non-GMO. This kind of clean labeling is on the rise.  So check for it.  

    Vegetarian menu for dietary lifestyle. Vegetarian and vegan capsules are made from non-animal, plant-based sources. Four out of 10 supplement users expect supplement delivery in vegetarian capsules and don’t shy away from their premium prices.  These capsules can also be approved Kosher and Halal, now desired by 23% of users. Vegetarian capsules will be identified with key lifestyle certifications that are popping up more frequently on packaging.      

    When it comes to selecting a supplement delivery form, consumers don’t need to play hit or miss bumping through a maze of unknown choices. They can quickly harvest an abundant field of advantages with the convenient, versatile, proven capsule. WF


    Missy Lowery

    Missy Lowery is the senior marketing manager at Capsugel, Americas Region.

    [1] The NMI’s 2013 SORD study is the source for all statistics in this piece.