Sugar was practically unknown to vast majority of people in Europe up to nearly 17th century. This secret ingredient was mostly imported from Middle East and was known only as expensive and rear spice for preparing the medicine.
Colonial politics of United and Dutch kingdoms helped to bring the sugar to the completely different light. Sugar became desired luxury for many high class folks in the 16th century. And it was not just for their taste. Speculative owners of the shares in British and Dutch companies which were focusing on slaves trade ( yes you could really have shares in this In 17th,18th,19th century) were delighted to discover such a sweet thing which enriched their pockets.
The boats sailed to Africa where they bought slaves then brought them to the shores of Caribbean islands and sold them to owners of sugarcane fields. Ships than stock up sugar,brought it back to Europe and sold it. Everybody was happy. The share holders had enough money to buy not just enough sweet but invest more money into the slave trade and get even more sweets and money.
Sugar production had increased rapidly ( 80 % of slaves that time were used on the sugar cane fields) and It become widely available. It lowered the prices and shares went down. Luckily rise of capitalism helped to spread the sugar fever amongst lower class too and now everybody wanted their sweet thing. This saved a lot of trouble to slaves. They didn't have to look for another job and happily carry on their well practiced profession. According Adam Smith the production should grow. Of course companies and share holders were happy too.
Well now is sugar so wide spread that nobody needs to send boats with slaves to Cuba. Suffering of many people is past. But Is it really?
Sugar is unfortunately taking toll again. We can see it every day on the street in television and in our fridge. Coca cola, Pepsi, Cadbury etc. it is addictive and we love it.
People tend to fight misuse of various drugs which they doesn't even take. And they over consume the sugar which is probably more addictive then marihuana . Advertisements from the “sweet” companies are promising delightful feelings of walking on the white sand or making love to beautiful person. Those are classic themes of TV adverts. In reality we are just getting hart disease, bad teeth and insomnia.
Slavery is maybe gone but suffering from overconsumption of sugar is still present.