Google Interview Question: How many calories are in a gr... |

Interview Question

Product Manager Interview London, England

How many calories are in a grocery store?


Interview Answer

9 Answers


Perhaps breaking up the grocery store into it's main categories and estimating the caloric density of each type of food may be the way to go? E.g. Frozen foods (high density), meats (medium), junk food and soda (high), veggies (low), non-food items (none), dairy (high), packaged foods (medium). Then estimate how space is typically allocated on these categories (10%, 20%, etc.). Then estimate how many such items can fit in, say a 10 ft area that has 3 positions (top, middle, bottom). Scale up the estimate as needed. Assign values to caloric density and at the least, you have solved the problem. Probably not the most elegant solution but it's what comes to mind immediately.

M on 14 Oct 2014

I would not consider these questions as hard or random at all..It would answer to How do you calculate how many calories are in a grocery store? like "I don't count at all..I am pretty thin. Actually I am trying to gain some weight so I just consume food like a trash bin.." what's wrong with that? Why would I even count that at all? I dont really care.. Some people might count and they could ansver to this question differently.

just me on 14 Feb 2015

There are no calories in a grocery store. There are calories in food which is inside the grocery store, but none in the grocery store itself!

A on 3 Apr 2015

The answer is none. Calories are found in food, not stores.

Anonymous on 15 Apr 2015

A calorie is defined as: the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C. The average grocery store is 4000m^2. Assuming average energy density of 200 calories/m^2 (Calories in a medium pizza) there should be 800000 calories in a grocery store.

Sam on 15 Apr 2015

Edible calories or calories in general? Because if the answer is the second we should use Einstein's formula: the weight of the grocery stores itself (in kg) plus everything in it * 1000 * c^2. The result then is divided by 4.16 (Calories/Joule) and woilà we have the number of calories in the store. If instead is the first answer, well, just approximate through the methods someone else explained.

Marcello Steiner on 29 Apr 2015

My local grocery store (supermarket) has 10 checkouts operating during busy times. Assume on average it takes 2 minutes to service each customer. That's 30 customers per hours x 10 checkouts = 300 customers per hour. Assume the store is busy 4 hours per day, that's 1,200 customers and that accounts for 80% of the store's turnover so 1,500 customers per day. Assume on average each customer is buying enough food for 2 people, that's 3,000 people. People on average consume 2,000 calories per day but not all of it comes from the grocery store, let's say 75% does that's 1,500 calories. Putting it all together 3,000 people * 1,500 calories = 4,500,000 calories per day ... but wait there's more. If the store turns over stock on average every 5 days that means there's 5 days of calories on the shelves, that's 22,500,000 calories. Lots of assumptions but the answer seems reasonable

Anonymous on 3 May 2015

Other than the nobody likes a smart aleck answer of stores don't have them, food does, I would suggest the research needed to determine that would take longer than an interview would allow. It would take research to determine the size of an average store the amount of stock held at given times of the year and its type, and the average levels of calories in the food stocks. On a side not it has been widely reported that labelling of such products is not very informative, so might I suggest it be represented pictorially biased towards the mostly female psyches. Perhaps a collection of images and statements ranging from a picture of an attractive successful business women say Ashley Madison material? To a picture of Chuck Blazer running from the feds on a mobility scooter saying this is what your husband is going to be like in ten years?

Michael Fisher on 2 Sep 2015

Depends on the size of the grocery store and what products it stocks.

Anon on 18 Oct 2017

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