A study was conducted to determine consumer perceptions of beef top loin steaks of known shear force and to evaluate how buying trends were modified by the tenderness and price variations of these steaks. Strip loins were cut into 2.54-cm-thick steaks, and the center steak from each strip loin was used to determine Warner-Bratzler shear force. The remaining steaks were placed into one of the following shear force categories based on that shear force and color-coded accordingly: 1) 2.27 to 3.58 kg (Red); 2) 4.08 to 5.40 kg (White); and 3) 5.90 to 7.21 kg (Blue). Randomly recruited consumers were allowed to evaluate steaks and then purchase steaks based on their findings. A $1.10/kg price difference was placed between each category. Results of the analysis indicated that consumers were able to differentiate between the three categories of tenderness (P < .05). In addition, consumers gave higher (P < .05) juiciness and flavor ratings to Red steaks than to Blue steaks. Overall satisfaction was higher (P < .05) for Red steaks than for the other two categories of steaks. The following percentages of steaks were purchased: 1) Red, 94.6%; 2) White, 3.6%; and 3) Blue, 1.8%. These results suggest that consumers could discern between categories of tenderness and were willing to pay a premium for improved tenderness.