Europe's non-alcoholic beverage industry must react quicker to poor weather, a consumer trends company has warned, after new figures showed flat sales in the last three months of last year.

According to an IRI report on 2013's final quarter, total sales for non-alcoholic drinks across Europe fell by 0.5% compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. Only the UK and France saw sales rise over the previous year as all other markets declined. 

IRI blamed below-average temperatures and said manufactures and retailers must make more of their hot beverage portfolio when cold weather sets in.

“The weather is not as reliable as it once was - we can have an unseasonably mild and dry March and a cold, wet June, which throws traditional patterns of shopping behaviour out of the window,” it said. “(The industry) needs to be prepared and be able to react quickly.”

The report, called the ISI Pulse Drinks Report, covers soft drinks, juices, squashes and syrups, mineral water, coffee, tea and cocoa. 

A hot summer in the UK helped the value of the country's water cooler market grow last year for the first time since 2007, figures released this month showed.