There is a lot of talk at the moment in the US about consumers buying "ready to eat" via grocery and convenience store as a cheaper substitute for eating out.
Currently this is presented as a simple economic phenomenon. But I also think there are cultural shifts in the way we see "eating out". Firstly, it is certainly not the "treat" it used to be. It has become so prevalent that it is routine for many families. Eating in is the treat! The changing experience is leading to a kid of channel blurring - where the line between "out", "take out" and "home prepared" is blurring. I think this change is occurring in the context of some significant changes in the way people see food. Retailers are playing a large role in this.....lots more to say on that.