Sapporo Beverage Co. is considering dissolving its contract to sell drinks made by food and drinks maker Fujiya Co., according to local reports.

The Mainichi Shimbun said today (17 January) that the soft drink unit of Sapporo Holdings may make the move after Fujiya was caught using ingredients which had past their expiry date.

Should the sales agreement be cancelled, the report said, citing industry sources, then Fujiya may have to sell off its drinks operations.

In fiscal 2005, the beverage division at Fujiya posted sales of JPY4.8bn (US$39.8m).

Late last year, Sapporo confirmed that it will launch Sapporo Hoppu Kenkujo, a soft drink designed to help alleviate the main symptoms of hay fever. The drink was scheduled to be launched this week.