Understanding Shawarma Brand Health in KSA


A leading food brand in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector aimed to deeply understand Shawarma’s consumption habits and brand perceptions in specific regions. The primary objective of the market research was to gauge the brand’s performance in the market, identify key choice drivers, understand target segments’ consumption patterns, and track brand equity vis-à-vis key competitors.


To extract actionable insights, a Quantitative Brand Health Survey was employed. This involved Computer-Assisted-Personal-Interviews with a well-defined target segment.

Target Segment Criteria:

  • Cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Khubar
  • Gender: Both Males and Females
  • Nationality: Saudis, Arab Expats, Asian Expats
  • Age: 15 to 54 years
  • Income Groups:  A, B, C1, C2 (based on mix of occupation and MHI of SAR 6,000 & above)
  • The study had an achieved sample size of 1,210 interviews.


  1. Consumption Patterns: The research found that 35% of the respondents consumed Shawarma at least once a week, with the highest consumption noted in Riyadh.
  2. Key Choice Drivers: Taste emerged as the dominant factor influencing the choice of Shawarma QSR at 80%, followed by price (70%) and proximity to home or workplace (60%).
  3. Brand Awareness: The leading food brand in the study held a 75% brand awareness rate against its key competitors in the QSR sector.
  4. Brand Preferences: While the brand was the first choice for 68% of the respondents, there was a noted demand for more diverse Shawarma fillings and sauces.
  5. Digital Aggregator Channels: 58% of respondents preferred ordering Shawarma via digital aggregator channels, citing convenience and promotional offers as the primary reasons.
  6. Brand Image and Perception: The brand scored high on taste and quality but had areas of improvement regarding delivery time and variety in the menu.

Conclusions & Recommendations:

The insights gathered showed that the brand had a strong foothold in the Shawarma QSR sector. However, there’s room for improvement in diversifying the menu and enhancing the delivery experience. The brand could also benefit from leveraging digital channels more efficiently and rolling out promotional campaigns targeting the high-consumption demographic of 25-34 years.

By addressing these areas, the brand can further solidify its market presence and cater to the evolving preferences of Shawarma enthusiasts in the region.