Toolkit for Assessing the Unrecorded Alcohol Market

What is the size and composition of the unrecorded market?

field research approaches

Store Visits

Store visits provide a way to observe how illicit alcoholic beverages are sold in a particular region and can yield insights not only into sales volume but also into:

  • beverage type;
  • brands;
  • packaging;
  • price; and
  • overall selling conditions.

In some markets, illicit beverages are sold openly, which makes store observations easier. In other countries, illicit beverages are sold in more secluded and dangerous areas. If possible, short key informant interviews (see Expert and Key Informant Surveys) with store owners can be used to collect information on sales volume, suppliers, and the main consumers of these products. Feasibility assessments of store visits should consider interviewer safety and other security issues specific to each country, as well as whether sellers of illicit products are likely to be aware of their illegal status and, if so, are willing to discuss their activities openly.