A government survey has found that 60% of Chinese consumers still prefer to buy fresh food every day from wet markets.

The news comes as a relief to wet market traders, recently buffeted by an outbreak of bird flu and increasing competition from supermarket chains. 

The survey, conducted by the Census and Statistics Department, found that the majority of the 1.9m households surveyed between October and November last year believed that fresh food was fresher at the wet markets. They also believed that food was cheaper when bought from the markets.

Just 12% of the households bought items such as fruit, vegetables, poultry, eggs and seafood at supermarkets, revealing that they preferred a more hygienic environment and a more convenient location.