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
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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.


Indonesia busts Russian smuggling drugged orangutan

Updated 1 min 35 sec ago
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Indonesia busts Russian smuggling drugged orangutan

  • Orangutans are a critically endangered species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only about 100,000 remaining worldwide
DENPASAR, Indonesia: A Russian tourist attempting to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Indonesia in his suitcase to bring home and keep as a pet has been arrested in Bali, police said Saturday.
Andrei Zhestkov was detained in Denpasar airport late on Friday while passing through a security screening before a planned flight back to Russia.
Suspicious officers stopped him and opened his luggage to find a two-year-old male orangutan sleeping inside a rattan basket.
“We believe the orangutan was fed allergy pills which caused him to sleep. We found the pills inside the suitcase,” Bali conservation agency official I Ketut Catur Marbawa told AFP Saturday.
“(Zhestkov) seemed prepared, like he was transporting a baby,” he added.
The 27-year-old also packed baby formula and blankets for the orangutan, Marbawa said.
Police also found two live geckos and five lizards inside the suitcase.
Zhestkov told authorities that the protected species was gifted by his friend, another Russian tourist who bought the primate for $3,000 from a street market in Java.
He claimed his friend, who has since left Indonesia, convinced him he could bring home the orangutan as a pet.
The Russian could face up to five years in prison and $7,000 in fines for smuggling, Marbawa said.
Orangutans are a critically endangered species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only about 100,000 remaining worldwide.
Plantation workers and villagers in Indonesia often consider the apes pests and sometimes attack them, while poachers capture the animals to sell as pets.
A string of fatal attacks on the apes have been blamed on farmers and hunters.
Four Indonesian men were arrested last year over the killing of an orangutan shot some 130 times with an air gun.