Colonialism played a big role in the development of sugar as a commodity. Sugar trade represented profitability and slavery helped reduce the cost of production of sugar. Thus, sugar production became a great source of income for the dominant powers of the time.
Slavery was key to the development of a more competitive market for sugar. Every single colony relied on slaves to lower the cost of the process of planting and harvesting the plants.Additionally, slaves were brought mostly from Asia to America. Since Europeans killed most of the Natives from America, they faced a shortage on labor and had to fix it by bringing labor from Africa. It turned out to be a profitable solution. The market for slaves was small, at the beginning; however, once demand for slaves increased and prices were high, more and more suppliers entered the market. As a consequence, the price of slaves went down and the colonies had enough labor to engage in profitable production.
The most important colonies were those of England, France, Portugal, Spain, and The Dutch. Sugarcane was first introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus and then spurred around the continent. At the beginning, sugar was a luxurious good and very few people were able to afford it. However, the practice of slavery and the improvement of technology lowered the cost of production making supply increase. Prices fell down and people from every social class were able to afford sugar. Demand and supply for sugar have been increasing overtime.
The map below shows the most common trading routes for sugar during the colonialism.