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Mindful drinking app Sunnyside working on AI-powered coach to help more people drink less

Join Alcoholics Anonymous and quit altogether — for decades, that was the main solution for people concerned about their alcohol consumption. But over the past years, an alternative has been picking up steam: mindful drinking. Instead of complete sobriety, growing numbers of people are choosing to moderate their intake and become more intentional about when and why they drink. Sunnyside, a San Francisco-based app, was designed to help people build those healthier habits.

When signing up, members input a baseline of how much they currently drink and set weekly goals. They use the app to track each boozy beverage they imbibe and can view their progress on dashboards. To keep people motivated to gradually decrease their intake, Sunnyside sends daily SMS-based nudges based on a personalized plan, and provides access to its member community.

It also offers 1:1 coaching by way of text messages. And it's that last feature the startup intends to build out using a recent USD 11.5 million funding round. Sunnyside is working on an AI-powered coach called Sunny. According to reporting by TechCrunch, the new system will use AI to compose responses to member questions, which human coaches can edit before sending. By automating replies to straightforward questions, the app will be able to free up human coaching time for more complex queries while also serving a much larger audience.

Sunnyside's basic membership plan is USD 99 per year; a premium plan offers weekly Zoom meetings with coaches.

Trend Bite

January 2023 saw the first Super Bowl ad for a non-alcoholic beer. Mocktails are everywhere, and boomers are confused by younger generations' lack of interest in wine. One thing is clear: consumers are re-evaluating their relationship with alcohol. They're also more open to discussing their drinking habits and seeking help. Sunnyside is tapping into those trends, framing mindful drinking as part of a holistic wellness journey.

Meanwhile, people increasingly expect solutions tailored to their unique needs and lifestyles, rather than one-size-fits-all approaches. Generative AI is set to offer personalization as never before, providing insights and suggestions that are highly specific and relevant to each user. How could your brand leverage those capabilities for bespoke services previously impossible to deliver at scale?

Innovation of the day