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Plant-Based Excipients Market Report


Plant-Based Excipients Market by Chemical Nature (Carbohydrates, Proteins, Polymers, Minerals, Glycoside & Waxes, Esters, Ethers & Carboxylic Acids, and Others), Applications and Function (Binders & Diluents, Glidants, Lubricants & Disintegrants, Film Forming & Coating Agents, Plasticizers, Suspending Agents, Preservatives & Antioxidants, and Colorants & Flavoring Agents), and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA): Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023-2032


Pages: 370

Sep 2023

Plant-Based Excipients Overview

Plant-based excipients are inactive ingredients derived from plants and are vital in formulating and delivering pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics. Manufacturers prefer them due to their natural origin, wide availability, and perceived safety compared to synthetic alternatives. These excipients, sourced from different parts of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, seeds, and fruits, serve various functions in the manufacturing process. Common examples include starches obtained from corn, potato, rice, or wheat, used as binders and tablet fillers. Cellulose subordinates like microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), and sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) act as thickeners and stabilizers. Gums such as acacia gum, xanthan gum, guar gum, and insect bean gum are used in emulsifying, suspending, and adjusting consistency. Vegetable oils from soybean, olive, coconut, or palm serve as oils, solubilizers, and emollients in topical items. Natural colors derived from plants, including chlorophyll, curcumin, and beetroot extract, provide shade to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Herbal extracts from medicinal plants act as active ingredients and excipients in herbal formulations and dietary supplements.

Global Plant-based Excipients Market Analysis

The global plant-based excipients market size was $1,793.52 million in 2022 and is predicted to grow with a CAGR of 5.2%, by generating a revenue of $2,892.69 million by 2032.

COVID-19 Impact on Global Plant-based Excipients Market

The COVID-19 pandemic has positively and negatively impacted the plant-based excipients market. On the positive side, increasing demand for pharmaceuticals, including vaccines and drugs, indirectly contributed to the market growth. Herbal excipients derived from natural sources are essential ingredients in various pharmaceutical formulations. However, the pandemic has also negatively affected the market. Disruptions in the global supply chain due to lockdowns and travel restrictions have led to limited availability and sourcing of raw materials required to produce plant-based excipients. Furthermore, research and development activities related to new pharmaceutical formulations and drug delivery systems were delayed, delaying innovation in the industry. Economic uncertainties due to the pandemic may reduce investment and funding in the pharmaceutical sector, impacting the development of new herbal excipients.

After the pandemic, the demand for plant-based and natural ingredients in different businesses, including pharmaceuticals and the plant-based excipients market is anticipated to grow. As consumers become more conscious of their health and the environment, there is a growing preference for common and sustainable ingredients, which includes plant-based excipients.

Growing Demand for Natural and Sustainable Products to Drive the Market Growth

The plant-based excipients market is experiencing significant growth due to various factors. One of the main drivers is the increasing demand for natural and sustainable products. Today's consumers are actively seeking products containing natural and herbal ingredients. Additionally, the rising health consciousness among consumers has fueled the demand for excipients free from synthetic or animal-derived additives. Plant-based excipients are perceived as safer and more environmentally friendly.

Furthermore, supportive regulatory frameworks and policies promoting the use of natural ingredients have facilitated the adoption of plant-based excipients in multiple industries. Technological advancements in extraction and processing methods have also played a crucial role in producing high-quality plant-based excipients with improved functionalities. Plant-based excipients' versatility and compatibility with various formulations have expanded their applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food & beverages, and other sectors. The growing vegan and vegetarian population and sustainability and environmental concerns have further propelled the demand for plant-based excipients.

High Cost of Procurement to Restrain the Market Growth

The high cost of production compared to synthetic alternatives makes plant-based excipients less competitive in terms of pricing. Formulation compatibility issues with certain active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) further limit their usage. The lack of standardized quality control measures and the lengthy regulatory approval processes also act as restraints. Moreover, there needs to be more awareness and acceptance among pharmaceutical manufacturers and formulators and supply chain challenges to the market's expansion. Lastly, competition from well-established synthetic alternatives adds to the restraint by maintaining their dominance in the industry.

Expansion of the Nutraceutical and Dietary Supplement Market to Drive Excellent Opportunities

The plant-based excipients market offers significant opportunities fueled by the expansion of the nutraceutical and dietary supplement market. The nutraceutical and dietary supplement industry is experiencing rapid growth worldwide. Herbal excipients are primarily used in making capsules, tablets and other dosage forms for nutraceuticals. As more people adopt healthier lifestyles and seek natural supplements, the demand for herbal excipients in this industry is anticipated to extend. Consumers are increasingly seeking eco-friendly options, increasing the popularity of plant-based excipients derived from sources such as starch, cellulose and gum. The pharmaceutical industry presents an essential opportunity in this market, as pharmaceutical companies incorporate herbal excipients into drug formulations to meet consumer preference for natural ingredients. Advancements in technology and processing techniques enable the development of innovative plant-based excipients with improved functionalities, opening avenues for manufacturers to introduce new products. Regulatory support for natural products further contributes to the growth of this market as governments promote the use of sustainable ingredients. Increasing research and development activities focus on enhancing the properties of plant-based excipients, broadening their application areas. Emerging economies present promising opportunities driven by population growth, rising disposable incomes, and evolving consumer preferences.

Global Plant-Based Excipients Market Share, by Chemical Nature, 2022

The carbohydrates sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. Firstly, carbohydrates are abundant, making them easily accessible as raw materials for excipient production. Plants like corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes are rich sources of carbohydrates, ensuring a sustainable and plentiful supply for manufacturers. Secondly, carbohydrates offer various functionalities, serving as binders, disintegrants, fillers, stabilizers, and emulsifiers in multiple formulations. Their versatility makes them highly valuable in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries. Moreover, carbohydrates exhibit excellent compatibility with other ingredients, improving pharmaceutical formulations' stability, solubility, and bioavailability. As consumers increasingly prioritize natural products, carbohydrates fulfil this demand as they are derived from renewable plant sources. Lastly, carbohydrates are cost-effective compared to many synthetic excipients, thanks to their availability, easy extraction, and large-scale production.


Global Plant-Based Excipients Market Share, by Applications and Function, 2022

The binders & diluents sub-segment accounted for the highest market share in 2022. Firstly, the growing consumer demand for natural and sustainable products has played a significant role. Plant-based excipients align with these preferences, making them more appealing to manufacturers and end-users. Secondly, regulatory bodies have supported plant-based excipients, creating a favorable environment for their adoption. The perceived safety and sustainability advantages associated with plant-derived options have contributed to their increasing popularity. Moreover, advancements in the functionality and performance of plant-based binders and diluents have further fueled their dominance in the market. Manufacturers have developed alternatives that surpass traditional synthetic excipients' properties. Additionally, the compatibility of plant-based options with various formulations has made them versatile and suitable for different drug delivery systems. Furthermore, the environmental sustainability aspect has also played a significant role in driving the preference for plant-based excipients. As sustainability concerns continue to rise, the reduced environmental impact of plant-derived options appeals to pharmaceutical companies and consumers.

Global Plant-Based Excipients Market Share, by Region, 2022

The North America plant-based excipients market generated the highest revenue in 2022. North America has dominated the plant-based excipients market due to several key factors. Firstly, the region's technological advancements in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries have paved the way for discovering and utilizing plant-based excipients. Well-developed infrastructure contributes to North America's dominance, including leading pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, and research centers. Secondly, the solid pharmaceutical industry in North America, encompassing large multinational corporations and innovative startups, has invested heavily in plant-based excipients. These companies have the resources and expertise to develop and commercialize new formulations to strengthen their regional market leadership. Additionally, growing consumer demand for natural and organic products in North America has increased the popularity of herbal excipients, considered safer, more sustainable, and compatible with various formulations.

Competitive Scenario in the Global Plant-based Excipients Market

Investment and agreement are common strategies followed by major market players.

Some of the leading plant-based excipients market players are BASF Corporation, Lonza, DFE Pharma, Evonik, JRS PHARMA, Micro Powders, Inc., Henan Fumei Bio-Technology CO., LTD, ADC, SpecializedRx, and Cristalco.



Historical Market Estimations


Base Year for Market Estimation


Forecast Timeline for Market Projection


Geographical Scope

North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA

Segmentation by Chemical Nature

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Polymers
  • Minerals
  • Glycoside & Waxes
  • Esters
  • Ethers & Carboxylic Acids
  • Others

Segmentation by Applications and Function

  • Binders & Diluents
  • Glidants
  • Lubricants & Disintegrants
  • Film Forming & Coating Agents
  • Plasticizers
  • Suspending Agents
  • Preservatives & Antioxidants
  • Colorants & Flavoring Agents

Key Companies Profiled

  • BASF Corporation
  • Lonza
  • DFE Pharma
  • Evonik
  • Micro Powders, Inc.
  • Henan Fumei Bio-Technology CO., LTD
  • ADC
  • SpecializedRx
  • Cristalco


Frequently Asked Questions

A. The size of the global plant-based excipients market was over $1,793.52 million in 2022 and is projected to reach $2,892.69 million by 2032.

A. Evonik and JRS PHARMA are some of the key players in the global plant-based excipients market.

A. The North America region possesses great investment opportunities for investors to witness the most promising growth in the future.

A. Agreement and investment are the two key strategies opted by the operating companies in this market.

A. BASF Corporation, Lonza, DFE Pharma, Evonik, JRS PHARMA, and Micro Powders, Inc. are the companies investing more on R&D activities for developing new products and technologies.

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