Saudi fast food favorite Al Baik ahead of Samsung, Google in brand ranking

Al Baik is one of the major vendors of fried chicken in Saudi Arabia, with over 40 outlets in Jeddah alone. (Photo: Al Baik)
Updated 18 January 2018

Saudi fast food favorite Al Baik ahead of Samsung, Google in brand ranking

LONDON: A handful of homegrown Saudi companies have again trumped some international heavyweights in a ranking of popular brands released by YouGov.

Dairy company Almarai topped the list of most positively perceived brands in the Kingdom, appearing ahead of WhatsApp, Apple and iPhone.

Al Baik, the local fast-food outlet beloved of Saudi diners, came fifth in the ranking, ahead of Samsung, YouTube and Google.

Polling firm YouGov uses “buzz” scores to compile the listings, based on consumer feedback on the brands during a two-week period.

Al Baik — which is one of the major vendors of fried chicken in Saudi Arabia, with over 40 outlets in Jeddah alone — has maintained its position in the top 10 for the past six years.

A number of Saudi companies also featured in YouGov’s top 10 “most improved” listing, with Al Rajhi Bank in fourth place and construction giant Binladin Group coming eighth.

“Buzz scores show how brands are resonating with consumers on a daily basis, and ultimately indicate to marketers the level and direction of recent brand exposure. In a market increasingly edging toward a digital-based economy, digital devices and media platforms form an integral part consumers’ daily lives,” said Scott Booth, YouGov’s regional head of data products.

“This trend is highlighted by the seven digital brands heading into 2018 in a strong position among consumers. However, Almarai, Al Baik and Dettol are proving you don’t have to be a digital brand to produce and execute a winning strategy to positively connect with consumers in today’s tech-savvy market, and they too have a strong start to the year.”

Technology brands featured prominently in the listings, with Nokia topping the list in improved brand perceptions in Saudi Arabia, followed by Samsung Galaxy at No. 6 and Huawei in seventh.

Western Union and Facebook also showed signs of positive feedback, occupying second and fifth place respectively.

Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

Updated 21 October 2018

Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

  • The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31

SYDNEY: Meghan, the pregnant wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, is scaling back her engagements during the royal couple’s 16-day Pacific tour, Kensington Palace said Sunday, ahead of their visit to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
The royal couple have had a gruelling schedule since arriving in Australia on Monday, visiting Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo, as well as opening the Olympic-style Invictus Games for disabled and wounded soldiers.
“After a busy program, The Duke and Duchess have decided to cut back The Duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week and a half of the tour,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
The opening ceremony for the Games at Sydney’s Opera House on Saturday night was delayed after an intense thunderstorm, and the Duchess of Sussex did not attend a cycling medal presentation with Harry on Sunday.
At the event, held in The Domain gardens, the prince was asked by someone in a crowd of onlookers where his wife was.
“She’s resting at home,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported him as saying. “Being pregnant takes its toll.”
Meghan rejoined her husband for lunch with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, before watching a Games sailing event from a boat on Sydney Harbor.
They are due to attend a private reception for the Invictus Games Foundation at Government House late Sunday before heading off to Fraser Island in Queensland state.
But Meghan is not expected to take part in official engagements at the World Heritage-listed site on Monday, with Kensington Palace adding that “The Duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island as planned.”
The pair are due to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island.
The news came as Harry received an unusual request from some members of the Australian cycling team at Sunday’s presentation — if he could sign an Invictus pair of budgie smugglers.
“Budgie smugglers” is the colloquial term Australians use for Speedo-style swimwear.
The Duke of Sussex declined the offer.
“He told us he’d love to sign them but he wasn’t allowed to,” athlete Damien Irish told the ABC Sunday.
The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31.