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Animal-free capsules from Scherer


RP Scherer has launched a new animal-free capsule which is based on seaweed and offers an alternative to traditional gelatin-based products.

Vegicaps Soft were launched at the recent Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, and Ronda Jacobs, leader of RP Scherer's global marketing team, said they had been received with great interest from a number of leading health product retailers and manufacturers.

"Supplement and herbal remedy manufacturers were very excited that they would soon be able to offer a cost effective, animal free capsule to their customers," she said. "The new animal free capsules will provide an alternative to animal derived capsule products and offer greater freedom of choice for those consumers with dietary, religious or cultural restrictions."

Jacobs, who is also head of Scherer's Australian unit, added: "The feeling was that customers would welcome the opportunity for a capsule based on one of our most natural sources, seaweed."

RP Scherer claimed that Vegicaps Soft was the first seaweed-based non-gelatin capsule alternative, and said the concept was already attracting strong sales in the UK and Scandinavia, where leading brands have launched products using Vegicaps technology. All major UK health supplement retailers are stocking the product and initial consumer feedback has been very strong, the company said.

A number of major US players will be launching brands using the Vegicaps technology in the next four to six weeks, the company said, and a further international rollout is planned over the next year with an Australian launch likely in late 2002 and a Japanese release in early 2003.

"We are looking forward to continued success as we roll out our launches across the globe," Jacobs said, adding that the technology would be unveiled to potential customers in Asia at the Natural Products Expo Asia in Hong Kong later this month.

"Asia is the homeland of traditional medicines and for a long time Asia has been a powerhouse for the global natural products industry," Jacobs said. "RP Scherer Australia sits in the heart of the world's fastest growing marketplace and we are looking forward to great results from the Expo," she said.