Ice cream is a very temperature sensitive product and temperature fluctuations during the storage and distribution steps of the food cold chain may result in changes in ice crystal size due to recrystallization phenomenon. An excessive increase of the mean ice crystal size results in a reduction of ice cream quality and a shortening of its shelf life. It is possible to improve the ice cream storage and transportation conditions by using an additional packaging with a low thermal diffusivity. Insulation material is usually chosen to reduce temperature fluctuations, but this paper proposes to evaluate the thermal protection of a phase change material (PCM) packaging and to compare its performance to a polystyrene configuration. The impact on temperature fluctuations and ice crystal size was characterized experimentally for a 5 months storage period and 3 different packaging materials: cartonboard, polystyrene and PCM. Measurements during a temperature abuse for 40 minutes at 20°C were also performed to evaluate the thermal protection provided by the different types of packaging. The results demonstrate that the use of an additional PCM packaging can have a significant impact on the final quality of the product during long term storage or for a product exposed to heat shock.