Halal Industry

Local food brands top for Saudi consumers, U.S. names dominate fast food in Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE – YouGov study

What are the top food-related brands in key Islamic economies in Southeast Asia and the Middle East?

YouGov, a UK-based market research and data analytics firm, publishes an annual Global Brand Health Rankings that measure consumer perception of brands based on Impression, Quality, Value, Satisfaction, Recommend, and Reputation.

For the latest rankings, scores are based on surveys of representative samples of consumers in each market, and based on data from the 12-month period from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

The number of brands and industries considered overall varies from market to market.

Across all industries at the global level, tech companies come up tops, with Google, WhatsApp, YouTube, Samsung and Facebook in the top five.

Only two brands from a Muslim-majority country rank in the top 25: Saudi Arabia’s Almarai is 15th and Al Baik 24th. Both are in the food and beverages industry.


For food-related brands in Muslim-majority countries, Saudi Arabia is the only market on YouGov’s list where local brands beat foreign names in dining and beverages.

Other than 7 Up in second place, Almarai, Nadec, Al Rabie and Rabea Tea were the top 5 beverages brands in Saudi Arabia, where YouGov looked at 500 brands.

Saudi brands also lead for casual dining, with Al Baik ranked first followed by Al Tazaj. Baskin Robbin’s, McDonald’s and Domino’s hold up the top five list.

However, there was no sweet spot for Saudi brands in the category of chocolates, confectionery and ice-cream, as big companies Mars and Nestle dominate with brands Galaxy, Kit Kat, Snickers and Twix.


Indonesian consumers also celebrated local brands but to a lesser extent than in Saudi Arabia.

Indonesian brands did well for cooking ingredients where Indofood tops, and its brand Bimoli is third. Unilever’s Bango is second and its Royco fourth. Heinz’s ABC is fifth.

American brands dominate in the quick service, or fast-food, restaurants category. Hoka-Hoka Bento was the only local name, in fourth. Indonesians like their American fast-food with KFC tops, followed by Pizza Hut, McDonald’s in third, and Burger King fifth.

The same brands show up for food delivery, where Pizza Hut Delivery, KFC Delivery and McDelivery came in third, fourth and fifth. Local company Go-Food is number one followed by Singapore-headquartered Grab.

YouGov looked at 710 brands in Indonesia.


Similar to its neighbour Indonesia, Malaysians also like their American fast-food brands. No local names figure in casual dining in Malaysia, where McDonald’s is number one, followed by KFC, Domino’s Pizza, Subway and Starbucks.

410 brands were looked at in Malaysia.


The same brands for casual dining pop up in the UAE where McDonald’s rules, Baskin Robbins is second, then Pizza Hut, Starbucks and KFC.

Similar to Saudi Arabia, Mars and Nestle dominate for chocolates, confectionery and ice-cream. Galaxy is ranked second, followed by Kit Kat and Nestle. Consumers in UAE went with Baskin Robbins as their number one in this category, and Italy’s Ferrero Rocher holds up the top five list.

Local and regional brands top beverages in the UAE, where the YouGov study looked at 590 brands. Saudi’s Almarai may be number one, but UAE brands Masafi, Al Ain, Mai Dubai and Al Rawabi are in the top five.


Malaysia, Indonesia and UAE consumers may have picked American fast food outlets as their top casual dining brands but in the U.S. it’s a slightly different picture.

Subway and Pizza Hut are the only two names in American consumers’ top five quick service restaurants list similar to consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia and UAE, coming in at second and fifth, respectively.

U.S. consumers chose Panera Bread as their top brand in this category, followed by Chick-fil-A in third and Wendy’s in fourth.

Americans’ casual dining picks were Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Panera Bread, Texas Roadhouse and The Cheesecake Factory.

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