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When living in a city that has niche, but no general, name recognition, a friend and I were taken for dinner, a very nice dinner, by a lady who worked for an international relocation consultancy. This was in 2008/2009. She politely, and professionally, refused to disclose the name of her company and of her company's client. Her job was to fly somewhere twice a month, anywhere in the world, meet English speakers ovr dinner, walk around shops with a camera, and write quantitative and qualitative reports of her findings.

The questions and purchase options in this crowd sourced list are extremely similar to the 'basket of goods' she was seeking. Prices are also pretty similar to 2008/2009 but a bit askew from today (particularly food, which over the past 5 years has experienced significant inflation).

Was there a surge of this type of information collection at the time (I can't recall anything of note online), or has a relocation / relocation-type consultancy released past data?

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