Googlers Buy More Junk Food Than Microsofties (And Why Rapleaf Is Creepy)

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If you weren’t creeped out by data-mining startup Rapleaf after reading about their ways in a relatively unsettling Wall Street Journal article published last October (“The San Francisco startup says it has 1 billion e-mail addresses in its database”), chances are you will be now.

For its latest ‘study’, Rapleaf has tapped its database of identifiable information to extract a sample of 6,000 Google employees (email addresses ending in @google.com) and 16,000 Microsoft employees (email addresses ending in @microsoft.com) and subsequently analyzed their grocery purchase behavior in partnership with an unnamed loyalty cards aggregator.

Rapleaf anonymized the data, so the study doesn’t reveal any names of Google or Microsoft employees, but still. The PDF featuring the study results is embedded below.

For each company, Rapleaf looked at the percentage of customers who purchased major grocery store products and compared the percentages side by side.

According to Rapleaf, more Google employees buy junk food like bacon and ice cream, but balance things out by also buying more fresh fruits and vegetables than Microsoft employees.

Microsoft employees, who are generally older than Googlers, in turn tend to buy more butter and vitamins.

Here’s how Rapleaf – creepily – puts it:

Microsoft employees are more likely to buy butter, a food rarely consumed on its own and used primarily in cooking. Microsoft employees are also more likely to buy vitamins.

Together this data paints a cozy picture of old-school Microsoft employees enjoying home cooking and soundly taking their vitamins.

Rapleaf even took a look at brand preferences, and found that Mountain View loves Mountain Dew and Doritos more than Microsofties, while Microsoft employees buy more Capri Sun and Orville Redenbacher’s. They also score about even on the Coke/Pepsi divide. Just so you know.

More study findings from the report:

Microsoft employees are more likely to buy dog and cat treats and grooming products, a tendency our expert says also correlate with a providing more for children and family.

Which brings us to demographics. Even accounting for age, more Microsoft employees than Googlers are married, and more Microsoft employees have children.

We found that the income distribution peaks for Googlers between $50,000-100,000 per year, whereas 40% of Microsoft employees have an income of over $150,000. The discrepancy can probably be explained by the higher proportion of married employees at Microsoft, since income reflects earnings per household.


Google vs. Microsoft Study_Rapleaf