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Capsule and Single-dosage Options Boon to Brands

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: April 7, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Gamsby: Single-use packaging has allowed the average consumer to purchase high-end spa treatments and special skin care products that have a shortened shelf life once exposed to oxygen.

Vieceli: Supplements in capsule form have always been a consumer-preferred means of taking herbs and other nutritional products. Our liquid in a capsule dosage form, Licaps liquid capsules, are helping fuel the growth in nutricosmetics. Astaxantin, considered the king of the carotenoids for its antioxidant activity, is a fat-soluble, unstable phytochemical. It is optimally delivered in a liquid form. With liquid encapsulation technology, astaxanthin can be more stable and more highly bioavailable than other delivery forms. It represents a type of supplement that works synergistically with topical regimens for maximum effectiveness.

An excellent example of this synergistic effectiveness was published in research on lutein and zeaxanthin in 2007 in the Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. Researchers, led by a University of Naples professor, discovered that a topical product with lutein and zeaxanthin increased the skin’s surface lipids by 23% to aid in protection against damage from ultraviolet light. An oral product with lutein and zeaxanthin showed a 46% lipid increase. Surface lipids increased 63% for a combined oral and topical intervention of lutein and zeaxanthin.¹

GCI: What does this packaging communicate about the product or brand? How does it impact the consumers perception?

Vieceli: One message that a capsule dosage form can help express is attractiveness—a key selling point and branding image for women’s products, in particular. This point can be illustrated through capsules with a glamorous pearlescent look in a multitude of color options. The pearlized effect can be carried through from package to final dosage form—filling the marketer’s need for a distinctive and desirable brand identity.

Naturalness is another message that a capsule dosage form can convey. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a major driver of consumer purchases; 59% of consumers look to purchase products labeled as natural, according to the Food Marketing Institute. They want natural clothes, organic foods, clean labels. Vegetarian capsules fit this bill, as do capsules dressed with natural colorants derived from plant substances or minerals. A naturally colored vegetarian capsule can pack a very powerful perception with the clean-label consumer.

Effectiveness is also a key message. This is especially true of liquid-fill capsules. Our survey of 1,500 consumers in 25 markets at the end of 2008 revealed a significant increase in consumer preference of capsules —in particular, liquid-filled capsules—over tablets. Consumers have more confidence that the liquid contents of capsules are going to do for them what they should do for them. They believe liquids work more quickly and are more effective.

Gamsby: In terms of perception, the consumer simply appreciates being given a choice and the convenience offered by single-dose packaging.