An impartial, independent and transparent process

Zora Milenkovic, Head of Tobacco Research,
June 12, 2014

Euromonitor International is a world leader in strategy research for consumer markets, with over 40 years of experience in developed and emerging economies. Through a combination of specialist industry knowledge and in-country research expertise, Euromonitor aims to build a market consensus view of the size, shape and trends in each industry we cover. Tobacco is no different, and both duty paid and illicit sales are researched in the same way as all other consumer products.

As impartial market analysts, our research methodology has been developed over decades and continues to deliver well-respected and widely used data and insights. For a full description please visit

In short our aim is to build an industry consensus view of each market by accessing all relevant public domain material and enhancing this through an in-country trade survey. The volume and strength of published source material behind our global systems will vary depending on the market or category in question and as a result some data sets are more "hard sourced" than others. This is a widely accepted challenge of researching international markets.

For Tobacco, trade surveys are conducted with a representative range of industry stakeholders in each national market, from government bodies to tobacco brand owners, retailers and health groups, reflecting our wide client base as well as varied opinions and agendas. By its very nature, illicit trade in tobacco is a contentious area that is difficult to quantify - there is often dissonance between sources. A key element of the value-add of Euromonitor's work lies in our ability to scrutinise and reconcile differing views by considering illicit trade against local knowledge of the market and its wider context of national economic performance, trends in cigarette taxation, movements in unit prices, duty paid sales (including trends in illicit and duty paid combined) and smoking populations, as well as porosity of national borders, law enforcement efforts, and product availability. The context and drivers behind our figures are explored in accompanying market analysis reports on each country we research.

As such we are confident Euromonitor International presents the most widely accepted and realistic estimate of the illicit market, based on an integrated view of the wider industry context and the factors that contribute towards it - no single source or figure is taken as definitive.

That said, our clients accept and acknowledge that researching challenging markets is part of an iterative process. We are constantly improving our coverage and understanding of consumer products as we access a wider range of sources in each annual revisit of our industries. As a result our data may change from one annual update to the next based on new sources becoming available, key sources resizing markets or an improved understanding of how to interpret local source material. We are transparent in our methods and our sourcing and all clients have access to our analysts and the assumptions that go in to building our data.

Crucially Euromonitor International is an independent company with no agenda other than to reflect markets and trends as accurately as possible. As such we are completely impartial, with no bias or reliance on any single source. Indeed as analysts we welcome all constructive debate and regularly engage with industry stakeholders from across the board to review sources and challenge assumptions with the aim of developing greater understanding of difficult-to-research areas.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

Conflict of Interest

None declared