To identify changes of British consumer preferences for fatness in beef, in 2002 photographs of beef cuts were computer modified to achieve fatness levels (48%, 40%, 37% and 30% of the cut surface) used in similar surveys conducted in 1955 and 1982. Posters of the four beef cuts were presented to 1064 consumers, who ranked them and completed a socio-demographic questionnaire. The level of fat preferred by today¿s consumers was less than in previous surveys. The proportions of consumers preferring the 40% fat beef were 62% in 1955, 24% in 1982 and 13% in 2002 whilst those preferring the leanest (30% fat) had increased from 12% in 1955 to 60% in 1982 and then stabilised at 53% in 2002. From 1982 to 2002, about a quarter of all consumer preferences, albeit from different consumer populations, had shifted from preferring 40% to 37% fat beef.